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EU Finance Ministers agreed in November 2003 on an additional allocation of Euro 500 million for EIB lending to Russia and the Western Newly Independent States (WNIS - Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine) until January 2007 (see European Report 2824).
European Union Finance Ministers, meeting on November 25 in Brussels, have agreed on an additional allocation of Euro 500 million for lending to Russia and the Western Newly Independent States (WNIS - Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine) by the European Investment Bank (EIB) until January 2007.
A decision on whether to include Russia and the WNIS in the general lending mandate for the years 2007-2013 - the EU's next financial period - would be taken in December 2006.
The Commission is proposing, in the context of the EU's Wider Europe initiative, to create an additional Euro 300 million EIB lending envelope for Russia and the ex-Soviet Western Newly Independent States (WNIS) - Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.
They say that "northern" members tended to focus on the Western New Independent States (WNIS - i.e.
The initiative concerns the countries that will find themselves on the EU's "external land and sea border" after EU enlargement, namely: Russia, the "Western Newly Independent States" (WNIS) - Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus - and the Southern Mediterranean countries - Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, and Tunisia.
Russia, the WNIS and the Southern Mediterranean should be offered the "prospect of a stake in the EU's Internal Market", and further integration and liberalisation to promote the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital.
As Free Trade Areas are envisaged in the Partnership and Co-operation Agreements (PCAs) with Russia and the WNIS, but without timetables, the Commission says "objectives and benchmarks" could be developed.
Integration of infrastructure and transport networks is also highlighted as are initiatives to encourage regional co-operation among Russia and the WNIS. These, the Commission says, could draw on the existing "Northern Dimension" concept involving Russia, to take a "broader and more inclusive approach to proximity issues with Ukraine, Moldova and, eventually, Belarus".
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