Military Review

Visa regime and other anachronisms in relations between Russia and the EU

Visa regime and other anachronisms in relations between Russia and the EU

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in an article published in the British Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review, pointed out the main problems complicating relations between Russia and the EU. The Voice of Russia asked European experts to comment on the statements of the minister.

“We are disappointed with the pace of progress towards the abolition of visas for mutual short-term visits by citizens of Russia and the EU. The visa regime has long become an anachronism in our relations. Technically, both Russia and the EU member states have long been prepared for the mutual abolition of visas,” wrote Sergey Lavrov article "Russia-EU: prospects for partnership in a changing world."

According to the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the problem of visas is a “landmark issue, as if in a drop of water, problems in relations between Russia and the European Union were reflected.”

“The situation is paradoxical - our Western partners, who insisted on coordinating the Helsinki Final Act on ensuring the freedom of movement of people, are now slowing down the work on creating conditions for free human communication on the European continent,” writes the Russian minister on the pages of the Journal of Common Market Red.

Sergey Lavrov also stressed Russia's concern about the European Union’s steps related to the Third Energy Package: "The TEC has already led to the accumulation of problems in practical cooperation - for Russia’s business in Europe, the investment attractiveness of specific EU countries is deteriorating, systemic risks are increasing. In some cases, we are dealing with actual the expropriation of assets of Russian companies. If somewhere we could have expected such actions, it could not be in the European Union. Such imprudent steps are fraught with undermining of trust and sobny undermine the foundation of our partnership. "

According to the minister, in the case of TEP, the European Union violated article 34 of the current Russia-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, as well as Russian bilateral agreements with EU members on the promotion and mutual protection of investments.

As for the antitrust investigation against Gazprom, among the accusations against him there is “imposing gas prices on customers based on" oil pegging. "" This formula, developed, by the way, by the Dutch, has not yet been challenged and used by other suppliers. gas to Europe, "- said Lavrov.

"If sanctions are taken against Gazprom, it will be difficult for the company to work in the markets where it is openly discriminated against," the minister said.

The Voice of Russia asked European experts to comment on the statements of the Russian Foreign Minister.

Dmitry De Koshko, French political scientist and journalist

Since Barack Obama canceled his meeting with Vladimir Putin, which was to be held in Moscow on the eve of the G20 summit, the European, and in particular French, press has begun to assert that relations between Russia and Europe have cooled off just like Russian-American relations.

In support of this thesis, examples of Russian-European disagreements are cited, such as the reluctance of the European Union to abolish visa regime with Russia, problems associated with the Third Energy Package, the imposition of import duties on cars by Russia, disputes around Syria and Iran and even a ban on promoting homosexuality among minors recently introduced by russia. Do these statements reflect the real state of things, or is it primarily about the demonstration of European loyalty to the United States?

French political analyst and journalist Dmitry De Koshko does not deny the existence of these problems, but believes that their interpretation by the European press clearly seeks to please the American point of view: “The problem of visas exists, but mainly because of the resistance of Germany, which does not want them to be abolished. In general Europeans are not very concerned about this issue. As for the problem of the energy package, it is explained by the protectionist policies of Western, and primarily American, companies that do not want to allow Russian companies and to European distribution markets. "

According to de Koshko, these already long-standing differences emerge to the surface every time the United States considers it necessary to introduce tension in relations with Russia.

All this only strengthens the aspiration of Russia's traditional partners in Europe to maintain bilateral relations with Moscow in order to depend less on the bureaucratic intrigues of Brussels, where they believe that such behavior weakens the position of the European Union. However, those EU members who see Europe as the "Europe of Nations" and who believe that the economies of the EU members are significantly different from each other, are convinced of the benefits of bilateral cooperation.

Ewald Böhlke - expert of the German Society for Foreign Policy (DGAP), director of the Bertold Beitz Center

- In recent months, the relations of the Russian Federation and the EU are in a state of easy cooling, a “friendly distance” has arisen between Russia and Europe.

It is from this point of view that I consider the recently published article by the Russian Foreign Minister. The message of the article is: "we have differences, but we want to be perceived as partners."

It seems to me that the general thrust of the article is very correct - and as for the general issues of cooperation in the field of economics or security policy, and as for the need to take into account the interests of the other side. In this sense, the minister set a very correct tone. At the same time, he clearly shows on which issues there are disagreements.

- Does this positive tone find an appropriate response in Europe?

- We need to wait here for now, because, of course, at the moment for Europe, European issues are in the first place. These are contradictions between the countries of Northern and Southern Europe, conflicts over the growing social inequality, the question of how to cope with the financial crisis, the responsibility for which lies not with European citizens, but with banks. Thus, Europe is very busy by itself.

- So, foreign policy issues are a little bit aside?

“For the time being, they remain on the sidelines, since the question of the future of Europe, as well as the task of overcoming the current crisis processes, is of prime importance now. This is clearly the central problem. Of course, in this sense, relations with Russia are only one of many questions.

- There are a number of problematic points in relations between Russia and Europe: the issue of easing the visa regime, the Third Energy Package, etc. How serious are these contradictions?

- With regard to visa facilitation, I believe that it just needs to be done. Eternal discourses on how this can be implemented in practice should be clarified in the near future by the relevant officials of the relevant ministries of internal affairs. I think a compromise can be reached fairly quickly on this issue. I advocate that the appropriate solution be implemented as soon as possible.

As for the energy package, this is an internal question for the EU. Here, the European Commission is trying to liberalize the energy market through diversification. In this regard, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry rightly notes that strategic decisions, including those relating to cooperation with third countries, are long-term in nature.

It is impossible to immediately change the policy framework without an active exchange of views - after all, the basic provisions of the European treaties are affected. Therefore, the situation with the energy package has a special character.

Manel Parra - professor, political scientist, president of the socio-political movement in defense of the unity of Spain

- The need to abolish the visa regime between Russia and the EU countries, in particular Spain, is long overdue. The absence of such an agreement complicates the relations of the two partners in a number of areas. I can give you a specific example.

Tourists from Russia are welcome guests for Spain, as well as for other European countries. The abolition of the visa regime will lead to an increase in the tourist flow from the Russian Federation, which will positively affect the state of the EU economy, which is now experiencing not the best of times.

Miloš Knežević, political scientist, editor-in-chief of the magazine National Interest (Serbia)

- When it comes to importing energy resources that Europe needs, since it does not have enough of its raw materials, the EU behaves completely differently than it does about freedom of movement. Serbia faced such a regime, it represents the EU in a completely different light in which it would like to show itself.

There can be no real democracy in the Old World as long as the freedom of movement of all Europeans is restricted, to which Russia belongs historically, culturally and geographically.

The more the EU will depend on energy resources from the East, primarily from Russia, the more freedom of movement will be needed, without a visa regime and other anachronisms. By the way, already now, using the example of Croatia, which has recently joined the EU, it is clear that the visa regime disappoints tourists from Russia, who wanted to rest on the Adriatic coast.

Konrad Renkas, expert of the European Center for Geopolitical Studies (Poland)

- I, no doubt, see a good prospect for the existing ones, and also, perhaps, for the future relations between Russia and the European Union. An article published by Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Journal of Common Market Studies Annual Review may become an open road to cooperation, since it dispels a number of doubts raised by analysts and critics of the future relations between the European Union and Russia.

The mention that there are points of contact between Moscow and Brussels in the energy sector, as well as international politics and security, can be a turning point and indicates that a certain cooling of Russian-American relations will not be able to affect relations between Russia and the European Union.

This is primarily indicated by economic indicators - at the end of 2012, the trade turnover between Russia and the European Union grew by 4,1 percent and amounted to about 410 billion dollars. This fact speaks eloquently of the development of cooperation, especially against the background of pan-European economic stagnation.

Russia is becoming an increasingly important market for the EU countries, which without diversifying their economic policies, without actively entering the Russian market, without accepting Russian partners, will not be able to keep up the pace of the economy. An important element of cooperation is modernization. Projects from the high-tech, high-tech, pharmaceutical, energy, engineering, telecommunications sectors show that cooperation between Russia and European countries is moving to a higher level. That is, the partnership is not limited to contacts only in the commodity sphere.

As the discussion at the Yekaterinburg summit showed, Russia and the EU also have common objectives in the field of research and development. And this could be an important factor in the competitive struggle of joint Russian-European projects with American, Chinese and Indian ones.

Without a doubt, the Third Energy Package is the weak link in Russian-European contacts. And we must admit that this topic is ambiguous in the European mass media. In Poland, the Third Energy Package is submitted as a document aimed at market liberalization. But this is not so.

The third energy package imposes on the EU’s main energy partners, that is, on energy suppliers, strict rules that contradict liberal principles. Obviously, he has become an important irritant in relations between Russia and the European Union. I hope that through joint negotiations it will be possible to change the situation in this direction.

Octavio Augusto Sanroma, President of the Friends of Russia Foundation (Spain)

- Our foundation maintains a close relationship with many Russians who have purchased property in Spain and constantly face problems when they want to spend a vacation in their homes. It is because of the difficulties with visas. We lose not only tourists, we lose profitable buyers and businessmen. In our interest to meet Russia in the visa issue.
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  1. experienced
    experienced 16 August 2013 12: 10
    Visa-free entry to Europe is good, but so far we have no borders with S. Asia. IMHO They have enough of their blacks to open the way for Uzbeks and Tajiks. There all of Europe is now moaning from gypsies (Romanians).
    From a Romanian cookbook: "In order to cook scrambled eggs, you must first steal a frying pan and chicken eggs ..." laughing
    1. il grand casino
      il grand casino 16 August 2013 12: 22
      What are you, what kind of cygan! This is not tolerant, they are now called roms ... (roms) ...))
      1. patline
        patline 16 August 2013 13: 30
        But does Russia need a visa-free regime with Europe? I doubt that it is so necessary.
        How will these most tolerant residents of this Geyropa trample, and the inhabitants of Europe, Asia and Asia, not yet Europe ... I don’t think that they are needed in Russia.
        Indigenous white Europeans are unlikely to reach us, but shushara-mushara erratic crawls, with its own orders, religions, and beliefs.
        Nah. Better stay visas.
        Now it is a good map in the game - to insist on a visa-free regime, like the Europeans have lowered the "iron curtain". In fact, this European curtain plays into our hands.
  2. taseka
    taseka 16 August 2013 12: 11
    The visa regime is a long-playing distraction player, like the Somali pirates!
  3. S-200
    S-200 16 August 2013 12: 12
    Most likely, this is not about the "openness" of our Asian borders ...
    They are twisting their hands, seeking economic and political preferences for the EU ...
  4. serge-68-68
    serge-68-68 16 August 2013 12: 15
    Asia has nothing to do with it. No one cancels passport control at borders. As far as I remember, the issue of abolishing visas for Russians did not rest on general passports, but on official passports.
  5. Seraph
    Seraph 16 August 2013 12: 19
    We must be glad that Europe does not abolish visas - more of our compatriots will wake up from a Eurocentric sleep and say with heartfelt candor: "Fuck you, Europe, go ... you!"
  6. a52333
    a52333 16 August 2013 12: 22
    You can't envy anyone! that's still a job at Lavrov's. Find "diplomatic" expressions on situations like pressure on LGBT people, or on Syria.
  7. Tuzik
    Tuzik 16 August 2013 12: 27
    yes, it’s necessary, on the contrary, it is necessary to strengthen and tighten visa requirements to Russia, if earlier only lovers of children and blue tourists visited us with ex tourism, now Ethiopians with French citizenship also work with us, we need to build relations with each country, here why not cancel visas with Finland?
    1. elmi
      elmi 16 August 2013 12: 50
      But what about then, our oligarchs, embezzlers and other bureaucrats will spend so hard-earned money, go to villas, ride yachts, go to resort towns on a working visit? Have you noticed that the EU is in no hurry to ease the visa regime with Russia? why should the EU miss such a powerful argument in disputed negotiations.
  8. Airman
    Airman 16 August 2013 12: 40
    As long as Asian borders are opened in Russia, obtaining Russian citizenship is simplified, and due to the venality of officials and their purchase, there will be no visa-free regime. And I am pleased that coming to a European country I do not see these Asian faces even in the markets.
    NOBODY EXCEPT US 16 August 2013 14: 32
    As far as I know, Europe insists on the abolition of visas immediately for civil and "blue" passports, official as they are also called, and the GDP says that first the blue ones and their family members should be passed quietly and then we will deal with the cattle, because the abolition of visas is not only for thieves but for all Russians, the EU is tied precisely to the open borders with Asia, and in case of cancellation for the blue ones, there is no need to worry about Asia, in fact, as well as about the rest of Russia ..... therefore, the EU in this matter holds the GDP tightly by the scrotum, because the GDP does not want to introduce visas with Asia, or rather cannot, because his homies will not have slave free power .... and this is excuse the loot to rob their Swiss accounts, they will not even allow their sidekick ....... So this burden will last a long time ...
  10. Yarosvet
    Yarosvet 16 August 2013 19: 09
    In the Russian Federation, 22% of the population can afford to travel abroad, and 78% can make noise.
  11. michajlo
    michajlo 16 August 2013 19: 50
    Quote: Tuzik
    yes, it’s necessary, on the contrary, it is necessary to strengthen and tighten visa requirements to Russia, if earlier only lovers of children and blue tourists visited us with ex tourism, now Ethiopians with French citizenship also work with us, we need to build relations with each country, here why not cancel visas with Finland?

    Good day to all!
    For travel "with visas" and "without visas" here the question is twofold.

    Since with all the dictatorial and totalitarian form of the state border and the humiliating obtaining of visas, the visa regime has old Soviet "insurmountable borders with towers and machine-gun nests" one big plus. good
    Despite the fact that it was hard to get outside from the USSR and it was necessary to go back,
    in those old days, all citizens, not just the party elite, were protected from the influx of migrant workers / slaves of new oligarchs, the import of poisonous drugs, food, low-quality goods, nosy foreigners (Vietnamese, Chinese and others) and other joys / nasty things of the "transparent border".

    So do not be surprised dear, if 5-6 years after visa-free borders, many of you in Russia will scream:
    Return immediately visas, registration, passport control, borders to be blocked and carefully guarded! hi

    In my opinion, the borders are better guarded in Belarus than in Russia and it seems to me that the Belarusians themselves are already standing in line for going to the checkpoint, or am I possibly mistaken?
  12. Airman
    Airman 17 August 2013 00: 17
    And as for the TEP (third energy package), I believe that Gazprom has snickered and it's time to put it in its place. At such rates of growth in gas tariffs, and hence heat, soon many townspeople will soon switch to stoves, refusing central heating, because firewood is cheaper. Let Miller contain Zenith for his money, and not at the expense of taxpayers, buying euro worthless players for MLN.