Poland : Warsaw Pledges New Era in Relations with Eu and Russia

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"The new Polish government is determined to re-take Poland's place in the mainstream of the European policy," Radoslaw Sikorski, the country's newly appointed foreign minister told European journalists at a press conference on 22 November in Warsaw. He pledged that his government would be more "trusty" and "constructive" in its relations with the European Union than the previous ultra-conservative government led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Sikorski said that the new government wants to immediately start preparations for its EU Presidency, scheduled for the second half of 2011. "It will be Poland's first EU Presidency. To make it our success, we have to start reforming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the whole country now," said Sikorski. He also pledged that the new government will improve relations with Poland's neighbors, Russia and Germany in particular.

On Russia, Sikorski said that Warsaw was ready to launch a series of consultations with Moscow on the prolonged meat trade dispute, which has been blocking the opening of the talks on the EU's new partnership agreement with Russia for over a year. "We would like to do business with Russia," said Sikorski. He stressed, however, that the "issue goes far beyond trade". Poland is a member of the EU and therefore deserves "equal" treatment from all its EU partners, Sikorski explained. He refused answering a question if Poland is ready to lift its veto on the EU-Russia partnership talks before Moscow waives its embargo on Polish meat. "It would be a nice gesture from a new government though," added Sikorski. …