Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia : Chizhov: New Principles Should Not Be Tested on Russia

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia : Chizhov: New Principles Should Not Be Tested on Russia

Article excerpt

Russia is looking forward to opening negotiations with the EU on a new strategic partnership agreement, but the future talks should not be negatively affected by the interests of the individual member states, the Russian Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said on 15 April.

"What we wish to avoid is the negotiation process to be taken hostage by certain interests of individual member states of the EU wishing to pursue their own agenda having little or nothing to do with EU-Russia relations," Chizhov told a press conference in Brussels. "I wish the new principles [of solidarity used by the EU during the formation of the negotiating mandate] are not being tested on my country," Chizhov added.

Moscow has recently been irked by Lithuania, which in order to better secure its interests vis-a-vis Russia requested, inter alia, a special annex on energy solidarity to be attached to the mandate for talks with Moscow. Previously, Poland had been blocking, for more than a year, the opening of talks in retaliation to Russia's ban on Polish meat and plant products. "My negotiating mandate was formally approved by the Russian government back in November 2006 so it has been a year and half that I am sitting here waiting for my interlocutors to get their mandate," Chizhov said. He underlined that Russia is not pressing the EU to get down to the negotiating table, but stressed at the same time that the interests of individual countries should not further delay the process. …

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