European and regional security, with an analysis of the situation in Afghanistan and NATO-Russia and EU-Russia relations are the focus of a meeting at Villa Madama between the Italian and Russian Foreign and Defence Ministers. Franco Frattini and Ignazio La Russa to receive their colleagues Serghiei Lavrov and Anatoli Serdyukov.
The meeting, the first in this format, is a further stage in the process of re-engaging with Moscow. It is an opportunity to take a step forwards in building closer relations between Russia on the one hand and NATO and the EU on the other, and to anchor Moscow to European security. Since the signing of START II, new concrete progress is in sight in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the NATO-Russia Council. Further progress also seems possible in the EU-Russia relations that are necessary to rebuild mutual confidence in the possibility of cooperating for the security of the Euro-Atlantic region.
At the EU-Russia Summit in Rostov (31 May 2010), the EU aims to strengthen the economic-commercial partnership. Italy supports the Partnership for Modernisation and the goal of defining at the earliest possible date a credible, time-limited pathway for visa liberalisation. As to security, the crucial issue is the framework agreement on participation in EU crisis-management operations. Moscow is asking for joint decision-making processes, while the EU aims to retain exclusive decision-making autonomy.
On Afghanistan, progress in NATO-Russia cooperation is helping give more substance to the partnership with Moscow, which is interested in Afghan stability and in eradicating international terrorism and drug-trafficking.