31.12.04. The Russian Foreign Policy Results of 2004

1. The main result of the year is a substantial intensification of cooperation by Russia with the CIS countries with regard to our partners' increased understanding of the advantages of integration on the new, mutually beneficial terms. In accordance with the decisions of the heads of the states work preparatory to CIS reform has been launched in order to perfect its mechanisms and to further develop economic integration, with the Russia playing a coordinating role.

2. With the ratification of the Agreement on the formation of the Single Economic Space (SES) of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan a real step has been taken towards the establishment of a regional common market envisaging the pursuit of uniform foreign trade and coordinated tax, credit and monetary policies, and free movement of goods, services, capital and manpower.

3. There has been ensured the granting to the Collective Security Treaty Organization of observer status at the United Nations General Assembly. The CSTO after the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Community and the SCO became a generally recognized international structure.

4. A qualitative strengthening of Russian cooperation with the states of Central Asia has been achieved. Russia has joined the Central Asian Cooperation (CAC) Organization. There has been signed the agreement with Tajikistan on giving the Russian 201st division military base status. Along with the air base in Kyrgyzstan this is a real contribution to ensuring the defense and antiterrorist component of the CSTO.

5. The treaties with Ukraine on the state border and on the joint use of the water area of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait have been ratified. A well-balanced and mutually beneficial solution to the issues of the Azov-Kerch region has been reached, opening the way to cooperation in the areas of navigation, fishing and environmental protection.

6. There was prevented an escalation of the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia, with Russia playing a mediation role.

7. Russia has played a key part in combining the world community's efforts in the fight against terrorism. Following the tragedy in Beslan the UN Security Council's resolution 1566 was adopted on Russia's initiative, which substantially reinforces the international legal base of the fight against terrorism, including the liquidation of its infrastructure and sources of financing, as well as the prevention of the sheltering of terrorists from justice.

8. On the basis of the Russian draft, UNSCR 1540 on the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction was worked out and adopted. Its implementation is called upon to put a reliable barrier to the falling of WMDs, their components and delivery vehicles into the hands of international terrorists.

9. In spite of certain difficulties, Russian cooperation with the European Union has substantially advanced. There has been signed and ratified the Protocol extending the Russia-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement to the New Members of the European Union, which takes into account our concerns, including those about the protection of the rights of the Russian-speaking population in the Baltic states. The Russia-EU Summit in The Hague constituted an important landmark in the joint work on the formation of the Four Common Spaces - common economic space; space for freedom, security and justice; space for co-operation on external security; and space for research, education and culture.

10. In the course of the visit of President Vladimir Putin to China a package of agreements on the delimitation of the Russian-Chinese border was signed, marking the final settlement of the border problem between our countries.

11. As part of our multivector foreign policy an important impulse has been given to the participation of Russia in multilateral cooperation and to the development of bilateral relations within the Asia-Pacific Region, including in the interests of the economic development of the regions of Siberia and the Russian Far East. At the APEC Summit in Chile Russia joined in the processes of regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism and in the trade-and-economic field. Russia's accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia of 1976 (the Bali Treaty) constituted a major step towards deepening our partnership with ASEAN. Bilateral economic relations with the AP region's countries (India, Thailand, the Republic of Korea and others) have been elevated to a higher level.

12. Russia has begun to regularly participate in the events of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is opening up broader horizons for our dialogue with the Islamic world in the interests of international stability and counteraction against terrorism, separatism and other manifestations of extremism.

13. President Putin's visits to Mexico, Brazil and Chile, and the visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Moscow provided an impetus for the development of Russian relations with the countries of Latin America. A number of important interstate agreements have been signed, opening the way to the building-up of interaction on the international scene and cooperation in the economic and technological fields.

14. We have significantly advanced in the matter of Russia's entry into the WTO and achieved progress in the negotiations on the not easy issues of tariff and agricultural policies, and access to the market of services. Agreements have been reached with such important partners as China and the European Union and with a number of key countries of Latin America. Actually the negotiating process has entered its concluding stage.

15. The entire world welcomed the ratification by Russia of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, opening the way to the entry of this important document into force, as well as a new stage in the development of multilateral cooperation in tackling one of the major global problems of sustainable development. The provisions of the Protocol help use the "flexibility mechanisms" set into it for the purpose of marshaling additional resources for the modernization of our economy and the improvement of the ecological situation in the world.