Medvedev, Merkel want new EU-Russia security forum

5th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that they wanted an unbureaucratic new EU-Russia forum for security cooperation.

The two leaders said after two days of talks near Berlin that they had signed a memorandum on forming an "EU-Russia Political and Security Committee (ER PSC)" steered by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"Dmitry Medvedev suggested quite a while ago that we should move towards new forms of cooperation in security issues between the EU and Russia. We believe here we could agree on a qualitative upgrade to already existing relations between the EU and Russia from a very low level," Merkel said.

The forum should hammer out rules for a joint "crisis management mechanism" between the 27-nation bloc and Russia that could be both civilian and military in nature, Merkel said.

This could be tested in Transdniestr, a Russian-speaking region that broke away from Romanian-speaking Moldova in a war in the early 1990s but is not internationally recognised, Merkel and Medvedev said.

"We agreed to continue consultations on this issue (security). There is a desire to raise the level of such decisions. But not for the sake of creating a bureaucratic organ but to decide questions," the Russian leader said.

© 2010 AFP

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