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Russia not to join Romanian Black Sea Euro-region project - Romanian

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  • Russia not to join Romanian Black Sea Euro-region project - Romanian

    Russia not to join Romanian Black Sea Euro-region project - Romanian report

    Rompres news agency
    31 Mar 06

    Bucharest, 31 March: The representative of the Russian Federation at
    the Conference for the launch of the Black Sea Euro-region project,
    director with the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry Vladimir Lebedenko,
    expressed Russia's stand in this issue, which distances itself from
    the adoption of the Political Statement regarding the establishment
    of this body.

    Government representatives from the other riparian countries of the
    extended Black Sea area - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Georgia,
    Greece, Turkey, the Republic of Moldova and Bulgaria - expressed
    their support for the project proposed by Romania and the Congress
    of the Local and Regional Authorities (CLRA) of the Council of Europe.

    Vladimir Lebedenko specified that Russia did not take part in the
    preparation of this document and does not consider itself bound to
    express support.

    The Russian diplomat also voiced reserves regarding this initiative,
    pointing out that such ideas are fine and interesting, but for the
    time being, his country cannot commit to supporting them because it
    is yet unclear if the new body would not overlap with the Black Sea
    Economic Cooperation Organization (BSECO).

    President of the Congress of the Local and Regional Authorities
    Giovanni di Stasi voiced confidence that, in the end, Russia will
    join the Black Sea Euro-region project, the more so as the Russian
    authorities have proven openness to the cross-border cooperation
    methods initiated by CLRA, as they offered support for CLRA's opening,
    in the coming months, in St Petersburg, of a centre that will offer
    assistance with the establishment of a similar project in the Baltic
    Sea region.

    "We will continue the dialogue with our partners from Russia and I
    believe we will succeed in persuading them to join us," said Giovanni
    di Stasi.

    In his turn, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Terry Davis,
    underscored that this initiative is not "binding" for all the Black
    Sea riparian countries, but that their own will was at the basis of
    the project. However, he insisted on the utility of the Euro-region
    project, pointing out that a climate of cooperation needs to be
    established between the local authorities in the area, aimed at
    eradicating pollution, corruption and the trafficking of humans
    and weapons.

    Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu expressed his opinion
    that the initiative of the Black Sea Euro-region does not overlap
    with BSECO's activity object, underscoring that cooperation is very
    frail in the Pontic area, so that this body's coming into being would
    be beneficial.

    In the end of the Conference on regional cooperation, the
    representatives of the Novorossiysk region joined the final common
    statement assumed by the participants that represented the local
    authorities from Black Sea riparian countries and CLRA.

    The statement sets 2007 as the deadline for the establishment of the
    Euro-region, as a concrete dialogue body between the local elects
    from the mentioned countries, and also provides the establishment of
    a standing technical secretariat that will facilitate the dialogue
    until 2007. According to Giovanni di Stasi, the technical secretariat
    will be probably based in the Romanian city of Constanta and will be
    staffed with Romanian experts.

    The next Black Sea inter-regional cooperation meting will take place
    in the Turkish city of Samsun.

    The Black Sea Euro-region is the first form of regional partnership
    accomplished with the support and contribution of European institutions
    - the Council of Europe and the European Union - that will represent
    the main funding sources for the concrete projects that will be drawn
    up by the local authorities from the coast areas of the Pontic basin.

    From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress