Russia and the European trio of France, Great Britain and Germany have agreed to set up a joint working group for human rights, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday after talks with a EU delegation.
The first session of the group will be held in Vienna on March 3. According to the Russian foreign minister, the March session “will consider the issue of national minorities, in particular in Latvia and Estonia”. “We shall speak about Russia’s efforts to ensure human rights,” Lavrov added.
The minister is satisfied with the result of discussions with European partners on the law on non-governmental organizations, which takes into consideration requests of the Council of Europe, the European Union, as well as requests by Russian non-governmental organizations and the Public Chamber.
“The meeting was constructive,” Lavrov noted. “We made a contribution to the development of a comprehensive dialogue between the Russian Federation and the European Union,” he added.
The parties discussed international security, fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime. “We considered moves which are aimed at strengthening our cooperation,” Lavrov said. Lavrov said the parties had discussed the Middle East, the nuclear program of Iran, the situation in Kosovo, in the Balkans, as well as cooperation in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia from the point of view of conflicts persisting there”.
”Attention was also paid to the renewal of relations between Russia and the European Union after 2007, when the term of the agreement on partnership and cooperation expires,” the foreign minister added. Problems of transit in Russia’s enclave Kaliningrad region were also on the agenda.
Lavrov hailed the talks as “businesslike and meeting common aims of building Europe without demarcation lines”.