Germany and Russia discuss security issues

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Dmitry Medvedev met on 4–5 June in Meseberg near Berlin. The joint proposal for establishing an EU-Russia assembly for European security issues which was presented after the meeting proves that Germany still wants to have a strong influence on the shape of relations between the EU and Russia.

During the meeting, Chancellor Merkel and President Medvedev were discussing issues of international security, EU-Russia relations and the results of the EU-Russia summit held a few days earlier in Rostov-on-Don. Before the summit, Russia had been seeking the setting of a road map for a visa-free regime among other goals, which was opposed by Germany fearing illegal immigration and organised crime. The two leaders proposed in the joint memorandum announced in Meseberg – to the surprise of Germany’s partners in the EU – the foundation of an EU-Russia Political and Security Committee, members of which would be the foreign ministers of EU member states and Russia, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This body would develop rules for the operation of the civilian and military conflict management mechanism in Europe, the usefulness of which would be verified in the attempt to resolve the conflict in Transnistria as part of the existing 5+2 talks format. Germany presented the German-Russian initiative on 8 June at the forum of the EU Political and Security Committee, which currently holds monthly consultations with the ambassador of Russia for the EU. Proposing to raise the rank of the EU-Russia sessions, Germany wants to establish closer co-operation between the EU and Russia in the area of security, which it believes to be insufficient, and to meet halfway the proposal made by Medvedev a year ago, when he appealed for building a new European security architecture. <jus, krut>