The European Union seen from China, India and Russia

The European Union seen from China, India and Russia

I write after a long week of official visits to China, India and today to Russia. In each of these places I found a strong willingness to strengthen and expand cooperation with the European Union: we are seen everywhere as an indispensable and reliable partner when it comes to working together on security and peace, on trade and economic cooperation, on promoting multilateralism, democracy, sustainable development and human rights. It is the strong and necessary Europe that Emmanuel Macron pointed at last night as our hope and future – joining together the European and the French flag.

Today, in Moscow, it was the first visit of an EU High Representative since 2012. I had a long meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to discuss openly our disagreements – starting with the conflict in eastern Ukraine – but also, and constructively, the many issues where Russia and the European Union can find fertile ground for cooperation: from Syria to Libya, from the Middle East to the nuclear deal with Iran, from Afghanistan to the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, from the fight against terrorism to climate change, and our bilateral relations in many sectors. Here are the videos of my press conference with Lavrov (my opening remarks and the Q&A with journalists), here today’s interview to Interfax.

In Beijing, last week, I met – among others – Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Defence Minister Chang Wanquan. With State Councillor Yang Jiechi I co-chaired the seventh EU-China Strategic Dialogue, ahead of the summit we will hold next June in Brussels. We talked about our bilateral ties, starting with trade, and the crises in Syria and North Korea, but also about supporting development in Africa and about global issues such as implementing the deal with Iran, multilateralism, counter-terrorism and the need to preserve the Paris agreement on climate. As global powers, the European Union and China have global responsibilities: so we need to reinforce our cooperation, including on security and defence. Here is my press conference with Yang, here the video of my conversation with students at Tsinghua University, here my interview to Xinhua.

I found the same, staunch commitment to working with Europe also in India, during my first official visit to the country. I met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. The European Union and India are natural partners: we share values such as democracy and multiculturalism, we share economic and trade ties, but we also both face the threats deriving from terrorism, and we want to stabilise the situation in places like North Korea and Afghanistan. For this reason we decided to step up our cooperation, both on bilateral relations and on global issues. We will meet again in New Delhi in a few months time, for the fourteenth bilateral EU-India summit. Here is the press release on my visit, here my interview to The Times of India.