This is the first time President Medvedev will attend the EU-Russia summit. The European Union must use his taking up to advance mutual relations towards a pragmatic, realistic and strategic partnership. Nevertheless, in the long-term, this partnership is more important for Russia.
President Medevedev prioritizes rule of law and modernization of the economy – here he needs Europe. Russia needs a more stable and solid partner, than China and Iran are in the international and trade relations. From the EU, there is no danger for Russia. On the contrary, the European Union can help Russia to keep the statute of key player – a status which could be gradually lost, taking into account the developments in the of economy and in demography.
However, strategic partnership can only be based on a balanced dialog of an equal to equal. The premise on the Russian side is abandoning its narrow-minded dividing of Europe and its stance on the Union as one partner.
President Medvedev must be able to distinguish between matters of long-term strategic interest and short-sighted wordy conflicts and provocations which unnecessarily protract creation of real partnership with the EU. He must also take this into account during the negotiations about the new treaty of partnership and cooperation with the EU.