Paris, 30 October 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russia and the European Union vowed today to develop their strategic partnership and to cooperate on security and economic issues. In a statement issued after an EU-Russia summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Jacques Chirac -- whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency -- said they shared a common goal towards European security and stability. Putin welcomed the dialogue between the two sides: "I greatly appreciate the fact that President Chirac has demonstrated a firm political will to develop relations between the European Union and Russia in all directions, and more importantly, in the sphere of economics and ecological safety."
European Commission head Romano Prodi said the EU and Russia discussed a substantial increase in EU imports of Russian fuel -- mainly gas -- over the next 20 years. He also announced a working group had been created to study energy imports from Russia and investment in Russian energy infrastructure. But no specific agreement was reached on future supplies or investments.