Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia : Presidency and Commission Call for Talks with Moscow to Resume

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia : Presidency and Commission Call for Talks with Moscow to Resume

Article excerpt

Speaking with one voice, the French EU Presidency and the European Commission strongly advocated, on 21 October, the negotiations with Moscow on a new partnership agreement, which were put on hold last month, to resume as early as in November. "That is the best way to move forward," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said at the European Parliament's plenary session, on 21 October in Strasbourg. "I know of no better way to pursue our own interests and make our concerns listened to," she added, expressing hope that the EU foreign ministers, meeting on 10 November in Brussels, would give their green light for the negotiations to continue.

Speaking on behalf of the French EU Presidency, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, France's minister of state responsible for European affairs, put particular emphasis on political and economic interdependence between the EU and Russia. "Both sides need one another, we need Russia to tackle global challenges such as the fight against terrorism, climate change and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said Jouyet. "It is very important for dialogue to continue with Russia," he added, emphasising, however, that the "dialogue can only be based on the respect of state sovereignty, the rule of law and common rules".

COMMON TRADING AREA

Echoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy's remarks on the importance of cooperation with Moscow in the sphere of economy, Jouyet called for the creation of a "common trading area with Russia". …

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