KARACHI : Dependence of European Union (EU) on Russia for energy and the latter s on EU for manufactured goods have provided an opportunity to strengthen economic and political ties, experts said in a seminar on Wednesday. In the seminar, Russia s Transition towards Democracy and Market Economy: EU s Response, they said that EU s and Russia s interdependence is an ideal opportunity for both to learn from each other s past experiences.
Russia caters 40 percent energy needs of EU, while EU provides 35 percent of manufactured goods to the Russian market. Speaking on the occasion, Associate Professor of National Defence University, Islamabad Dr Noman Sattar said that Russia is in transition since the end of cold war and is looking for a new role in a highly volatile world. He said that in the new millennium Russia is up against issues relating political and economic liberalisation and at the same time they have to address challenges posed by the complicated geopolitical scenario of Central Asian States. Dealing with the pressures of the only superpower - USA, is a major challenge for Russia, he added.Addressing the participants, Lecturer, Department of International Relations, University of Karachi Nausheen Wasi said that Central Asian and Caucasian regions have had a history of being a battleground for foreign powers. Historically, the two regions have been under Soviet Russia s influence for centuries while EU also tried to exploit strategic and economic opportunities in the two regions , she said, adding that Russia is a special partner of the EU in areas of security, world order and economic relations, but there are controversial issues of energy pact/bilateral disagreement on trade and transport of energy.Dr Mahnaz Fatima, an Associate Professor, Institute of Business Administration Karachi said that Russia is EU s third most important trading partner after the US and China. EU is less dependent on Russia for trade and the latter is more on the EU for this purpose. However the EU is dependent on Russia for energy, she added. The seminar was organised by the Area Study Centre for Europe (ASCE), University of Karachi in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Courtesy: Business Recorder
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