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Good afternoon.

Today we are presenting a Joint Communication from the High Representative and the [European] Commission that responds to an invitation of the European Council of the last 24th of May. This Communication sets out the state of European Union-Russia relations in all their complexity and proposes the way forward – that is an important thing.

Russia remains the European Union’s largest neighbour and it is an important global actor.

Today, the Commission announces an additional €20 million to finance a new power plant in Rwanguba, that will provide a further 15 Megawatt of electricity. The European Union's rapid response to the urgent environmental crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has helped to restore up to 96% of the power lines and 35% of the water pipes damaged in Goma due to the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano on 22 May. This has allowed half a million people to access drinking water, and to have electricity in two important hospitals.

Today, upon invitation of the European Council, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy are presenting a Joint Communication on the EU's relations with Russia. The Joint Communication presents recommendations ahead of the European Council meeting of 24-25 June on how to strengthen the implementation of the EU's Russia policy.

Выбранный политический курс и преднамеренные враждебные действия российских властей в последние годы, в частности незаконная аннексия Крымского полуострова Россией в 2014 году и продолжающаяся дестабилизирующая деятельность в отношении как государств ЕС, так и соседних стран, ведут к ухудшению отношений между Европейским Союзом (ЕС) и Россией. Ввиду действий России в Украине ЕС ввел ограничительные меры, в т. ч. секторальные санкции, а такие форматы взаимодействия сторон, как регулярные диалоги на высшем уровне и сотрудничество, временно приостановлены до полного выполнения Россией Минских соглашений. Осложняются двухсторонние отношения и рядом других серьезных факторов: деятельностью России в регионе Восточного соседства ЕС, Сирии, Ливии и других странах, систематической злонамеренной деятельностью в отношении государств ЕС, включая химические и другие атаки, кампании по дезинформации, гибридную деятельность и кибератаки. В то же время ЕС и Россию связывают давние исторические, культурные, научные и экономические связи, и стороны вместе преодолевают глобальные вызовы. ЕС продолжает взаимодействовать с Россией по отдельным вопросам, входящим в сферу явных личных интересов ЕС. В своем подходе ЕС руководствуется пятью принципами, которые были согласованны в 2016 году, а недавно, в мае 2021 года, вновь подтверждены Европейским Советом.

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The deliberate policy choices and aggressive actions of the Russian government over the last years, in particular the 2014 illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia and its ongoing destabilising actions against EU Member States and neighbours alike, have created a negative spiral in EU-Russia relations. The EU has imposed restrictive measures, including sectoral sanctions, as a result of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, while formats such as regular high-level dialogues and cooperation remain suspended in the absence of the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by Russia. A number of additional serious issues impact bilateral relations, including Russia’s actions in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood, Syria, Libya and beyond, and repeated malign activities against EU Member States including chemical and other attacks, disinformation campaigns, hybrid actions and cyber-attacks. Nonetheless, the EU and Russia share longstanding historical, cultural, scientific and economic ties and face key global issues together. The EU continues to engage in selected areas of clear EU self-interest. The EU’s approach to Russia is guided by five principles agreed in 2016 and reaffirmed, most recently, by the European Council in May 2021.

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Today, the Commission launches the process towards adoption of the adequacy decision for the transfer of personal data to the Republic of Korea. It will cover transfers of personal data to the Republic of Korea's commercial operators as well as public authorities.

A virtual seminar taking place on 17 June that will present a report prepared in relation to the project “Overview of EU actions in the Arctic and their impact”. The study considers a broad range of ways in which EU policies affect the Arctic and influence the EU’s environmental footprint and economic presence in the region.

The European Union and the United States represent 780 million people who share democratic values and the largest economic relationship in the world. We have a chance and a responsibility to help people make a living and keep them safe and secure, fight climate change, and stand up for democracy and human rights. We laid the foundations of the world economy and the rules-based international order after World War II based on openness, fair competition, transparency and accountability. Some of the rules need an update: to protect our health, our climate and planet, to ensure democracy delivers and technology improves our lives.

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Good afternoon,

Today, after nine months, the High-Level Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue continued. We started a new chapter, as this was the first meeting with Albin Kurti as Prime Minister of Kosovo. It was not an easy meeting, but it was important that it happened.

Both leaders had a very open and frank exchange on what they each want from the Dialogue.

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