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Can EU-Russian Commercial Relations be Normalized?

November 20 2008
Venue: Hotel Sofitel, Place Jourdan 1, Brussels
Speakers: Roderick Abbott, Peter Balas, Iana Dreyer, Fredrik Erixon, Brian Hindley, Edward Lucas, Sophie Nappert, Lauge Poulsen
Time: 13:00

EU – Russian commercial relationships have soured. Russia’s invasion of Georgia this summer set all relations to Russia in a different light: commercial policy is no exception.

Trade and investment relations between the EU and Russia are at unprecedented highs. Beyond the field of energy, the potential benefits of deepened commercial relations are substantial for both parties. Yet Europe’s businesses’ concerns in their dealings with Russia have been mounting. These range from confiscation of assets to arbitrary and discriminatory tariffs. Europe’s responses to Russia’s commercial assertiveness have been weak, and there are still sharp differences among EU member states about what actions to take.

 Can the commercial-policy relations between EU and Russia become normalized? Russia is not a member of the World Trade Organization, and it remains uncertain if it will join in the foreseeable future. Even if Russia joined the WTO, there are many concerns which would remain unaddressed, especially in the field of energy policy. What are the other options to establish a stable environment for business? Does international commercial law offer unexploited opportunities to address Europe’s concerns with Russia’s commercial policy? What can be achieved in bilateral negotiations with Russia over a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement?

 You are cordially welcome to this conference on EU-Russia commercial relations.

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