In the continental environment | Latest news The Moscow Post
17 October 2021

In the continental environment

The Foreign Ministry reminded European partners how to behave with their neighbors.

"Good neighbours behave correctly, respect and try to take into account each other's laws and interests, do not allow themselves to interfere in internal affairs, show disrespect for the judicial system, democratic procedures and public processes, replicate unfounded accusations, and apply illegal measures against each other in international legal terms", - said Alexey Zaitsev, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, answering a question from The Moscow Post correspondent about EU relations with Russia in terms of their stability and predictability.

The representative of the Foreign Ministry noted that the EU installations that Brussels is now broadcasting in relation to Russia are "hardly compatible with the prospect of building" that very stable and predictable interaction.

Neighbors of Russia

On the borders of Russia there are two neighbors, two economic giants, the European Union - in the West, Japan - in the East. Both players are among the leading partners of Russian companies. Russia behaves in a neighboring way, keeps open its airspace for the airlines of Japan and Europe. Japanese companies and European companies use the transit services of the Trans-Siberian Railway Container Bridge. Gradually, the Northern Sea Route opens for international communication. This is what connects Russia, the European Union and Japan. But there are bilateral ties.

Unfortunately, not everything is smooth in them. In recent years, trade and investment in these two areas - the EU and Japan - have gradually dried up. Russia buys less products of European and Japanese companies, redirects the main export goods to the markets of China, other countries and regions. Moscow began to rely more on domestic sources of savings, on investors not affected by trade and financial sanctions, other restrictions of the collective West.

Who got better over the past 7-8 years? What role did Brussels play in those events in Kiev in early 2014, the consequences of which are not only still felt in Russia-Europe relations, but also caused geopolitical shifts?

Foreign Ministry: They do not behave like this with their neighbors

Euromaidan

In short, the European Union has given up on what happened and is happening in Ukraine, including the conflict in the south-east of the country and the deaths of Donbass residents.

The number of dead and wounded from bullets and fragments, under the rubble of shelling exceeded 34 thousand, including 20 thousand civilians in Donbass. Brussels does not even want to hear about it! "Moscow expects that the EU will stop turning a blind eye to Kiev's open sabotage of the Minsk agreements," said Alexei Zaitsev, deputy director of the information and press department of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Everyone remembers how the coup in Ukraine began. "Euromaidan" under the slogans "Ukraine is Europe" and "Whoever does not jump, that Moskal" with round-the-clock tent pickets, a confrontation between the organizers excited by alcohol with the Berkutovites frozen without Yanukovych's order. On some security forces, an incendiary mixture burned, people in the square died from sniper bullets.

At the height of events on the Maidan in February 2014, President Yanukovych and opposition representatives signed an agreement on a peaceful settlement of the political crisis, guaranteed by Germany, France and Poland. The document provided for a return to the 2004 constitution, early presidential elections and the formation of a "government of national trust." Days later, with the complete silence of European capitals, the agreement was broken, legal power was overturned under the slogan "accession" of Ukraine to the European Union.

EU and Ukraine, as it was

The European Union and the United States have done a lot of preparatory work to include Ukraine in the orbit of their interests. Ukraine has become a hostage to someone else's geopolitical will, which does not coincide with the will of a large part of Ukrainian society.

The background of these dramatic events testifies to Brussels's deliberate policy of involving Ukraine in the European Union. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (ATP) between the EU and Ukraine was signed in 1994, entered into force in 1998, and was later replaced by an association agreement. Within the framework of SFOR, the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council, the Cooperation Committee and seven subcommittees, as well as the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee were established.

In July 2002, Ukraine received the "special status of a neighbor," providing for the facilitation of the visa regime. In 2004, Ukraine began implementing the plan "Through European integration." At the same time, the European Commission adopted an EU-Ukraine action plan to deepen cooperation, including energy, transport, the environment, and visa facilitation. In 2007, the EU concluded an agreement with Ukraine on the simplification of the visa regime, in May 2009 it was included in the multilateral program "Eastern Partnership." In February 2011, she became a member of the European Energy Community, aimed at creating a single market for electricity and gas in the EU and Southeast Europe.

Negotiations on the Agreement between the EU and Ukraine began in 2007 and continued until 2011. There were 21 rounds of negotiations to prepare an agreement and 18 rounds to establish a free trade area (FTA). On March 21, 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed the political part of the agreement, and on June 27, 2014, its economic part providing for the creation of a free trade zone (FTA). In September 2014, the Verkhovna Rada and the European Parliament ratified the agreement.

On July 11, 2017, the Council of the European Union approved the political part of the agreement, which included foreign policy, security, the fight against money laundering, the control of migration flows, the fight against crime and terrorism, drug trafficking, etc. The FTA provided for the movement of goods, services, capital and labor in order to ensure the gradual integration of the Ukrainian economy into the EU.

EU and Minsk agreements

EU policy towards Ukraine led to a split and civil war. Donbass did not agree with the results of the coup. Kiev used force, a civil war began. Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexei Zaitsev said that Moscow calls on the United States and the EU to pay attention to the "destruction of Ukraine's own population," to achieve an end to the war in the Donbass. "We urge the Western curators of Ukraine, primarily the United States and the EU, to pay close attention to the humiliation and destruction of their own population by the Kiev regime over the years, to get the Ukrainian authorities to end the fratricidal war in the Donbass," he added.

"As for the stability and predictability of EU policy towards Ukraine, we expect that the EU will stop turning a blind eye to Kiev's open sabotage of the Minsk agreements", and Germany and France, as participants in the Norman format, stimulate Kiev to begin to implement the set of measures approved by UN Security Council resolution 2202, "its official representative Alexei Zaitsev said at a briefing of the Russian Foreign Ministry, recalling that the essence of the" set of measures "is to give Donbass a special status.

DPR and LPR for economic unification

Meanwhile, this part of Ukraine, split off and isolated by Kiev, continues to live under shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But not only. In early September, the DPR and the LPR agreed to create a single economic space.

The first step in this direction was the signing of an agreement on a single customs with the subsequent abolition of customs posts on the border between the DPR and the LPR. The authorities of the republics also adopted programs for the socio-economic development of the republics of Donbass for 2022-2024 years.

The regulation on the creation of a single economic commission and the introduction of a common customs tariff were approved at the first meeting of the economic council. As the head of the DPR Denis Pushilin noted, the republics will have to accelerate the unification of legislation.

Russia and Japan

The Moscow Post correspondent also asked a question about the Kuril Islands and the measures taken by the Government of the Russian Federation to create preferential conditions for investment and economic activities on these islands.

Vladimir Putin, speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum on September 3, said that a special tax regime for business will be created in the Kuril Islands: companies will be exempt from taxes for ten years, a free customs zone will operate throughout the Kuril Islands.

The head of state noted that both Russian and foreign investors, including Japanese partners, will be able to take advantage of tax and customs advantages "which, in fact, we have talked with them before in terms of creating conditions for the development of the economy of these islands and our cooperation in these territories," Vladimir Putin added.

There was a reaction. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said that "the Japanese authorities believe that such a regime and joint economic activities should not go against the laws of the two countries," as if recalling that Japan continues to consider the South Kuril Islands its territory.

The question of the correspondent of The Moscow Post newspaper was as follows: "Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi said that the proposed regime of economic activity in the South Kuril Islands is unacceptable for his country. Will this be an obstacle to interaction with investors from other countries? "

"We proceed from the fact that measures to accelerate the development of the Far Eastern regions of the country, including the Sakhalin Region, will become an additional incentive to work on joint economic activities with Japan in the South Kuril Islands in the Sakhalin Region," said Alexei Zaitsev, stressing that Russia welcomes interested foreign investors, including Japanese partners.

Following the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan on December 15 and 16, 2016 and his meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a joint statement was adopted, which noted that an important step towards the conclusion of a peace treaty could be the beginning of consultations on joint economic activities in the southern Kuril Islands.

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