News

    Russia, EU Meet for Mending Relations

    Russia, EU Meet for Mending Relations
    Russia, EU Meet for Mending Relations
    Lisa Bryant

    <!-- IMAGE -->

    Russian and European Union leaders are meeting in Stockholm Wednesday in an effort to mend relations damaged last year by Russia's war with Georgia and a gas cut off.  The two sides remain at odds on many issues.

    During the one-day meeting in Stockholm, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and European Union leaders are expected to discuss a number of issues, including energy security, climate, trade and human rights. The meeting is being hosted by Sweden, the current EU president.  It aims to build a new partnership between the two sides.

    They moved forward on that Monday, when the EU and Russia signed an energy early-warning agreement to avoid a possible disruption in supplies of oil, gas and electricity.  The deal aims to avoid the kind of cut off that took place last January, when some European countries were left without enough heat because of a dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

    But analysts like Tomas Valasek believe that, although ties have improved since the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, Europe and Russia remain far apart on many substantive issues.  Valasek is head of foreign and defense policy at the Center for European Reform in London.

    "They are moving away from the August 2008 situation [the Russia-Georgia war], when the EU, as a whole, condemned Russia for its behavior and ties were really frozen and tense. But they're not moving back to what they were before - to the status quo ante," he said.   "We're not moving back to any hope of a gradual rapprochement or a gradual alignment or strategic partnership."

    Valasek says, before 2008, there was hope Russia and the EU would grow into strategic partners and form a relationship that might balance American influence in the world.  He says today,  the two sides are at odds about basic issues like democracy, human rights and transparency.

    Still, they do share economic and energy interests.  Europe depends on Russia's natural gas for heating and the EU is Russia's biggest trading partner . Germany, for one, is eyeing closer business ties with Russia.

    "The economic relationship will continue to be the bond. Europe's relationship with Russia's energy exports will increase, in the short run.  Europe will certainly depend [more] on Russia in the coming years than it does currently," said Valasek.

    The EU will also be pushing Russia to make a stronger commitment to reduce greenhouse gasses before a December climate change summit in Copenhagen.  Europe also wants clarity from Moscow about whether or not it intends to join the World Trade Organization.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.