In the framework of EU troika meetings, Federal Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble and Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries, both representing the German Presidency, met the President’s security advisor, Victor Ivanov, and their Russian counterparts, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev and Justice Minister Vladimir Ustinov, for political talks on 23 and 24 April 2007. The EU Commission was represented by Vice-President Franco Frattini. The Portuguese Justice Minister, Alberto Costa, and State Secretary José Magalhães travelled to Moscow to represent the upcoming EU Presidency.
Negotiations focused on further enhancing the area of freedom, security and justice agreed between the EU and Russia. Topics discussed included facilitating passenger traffic by simplifying visa provisions, and the joint fight against international terrorism, organized crime and trafficking in human beings and narcotics. In the field of justice, participants discussed cooperation in criminal and civil matters.
Further discussions were held on joint border management, fighting illegal migration and on possibilities of legal and temporary migration between Russia and the EU.
The Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, said in Moscow:
“International cooperation in counter-terrorism is essential. Russia, the USA and the EU have only just stressed this at a joint meeting in Berlin on 4 April. I am particularly grateful for the Russian proposal to set up a high-level group which is to define terrorism and joint threat prevention.
Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries welcomed the agreed improvement of judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters. The results of informal expert meetings on cooperation in civil matters between the EU and Russia will hopefully entail major progress.
Schäuble and Zypries highlighted that cooperation between the EU and Russia in the field of counter-terrorism will be agreed on the basis of international law and will be in line in particular with international human rights, refugee law and humanitarian law.
Regarding the fight against drug-related crime and other areas of organized crime, close cooperation between the EU and Russia was emphasized. Participants pointed out that there was close cooperation at expert level; among other things cooperation is envisaged between the European Drugs and Drug Addiction Monitoring Centre and the responsible body in Russia. The successful and trustful cooperation between the European borders agency FRONTEX and the Russian border police is to be further developed. In the near future, joint maritime exercises are to take place. For the EU, cooperation with Russia is particularly important, especially in combating illegal migration.
Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr Wolfgang Schäuble said:
“Solving the drugs issue is a top priority both for the EU and Russia. In this respect, strengthened cooperation with Europol is necessary. Europol has valuable experience in fighting drug trafficking. In the framework of existing agreements between Europol and Russia the proposed closer cooperation is very welcome.”