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Sarkozy Calls for Restart of EU-Russia Talks
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Nov.'08 / 15:50

French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, said he was in favor of resuming partnership talks with Russia, AFP reported.

“Must we create another Europe-Russia crisis?" Sarkozy, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, said after the EU summit in Brussels on November 7. “That doesn't seem reasonable to me," he told reporters at a post-summit press conference.

In a joint statement on November 4 Presidents of Poland and Lithuania said it was “too early” to resume talks with Russia unless the latter complies fully with its Georgia ceasefire agreement.

European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, however, said after the Brussels summit that he had told Polish and Lithuanian partners that it was “better for us to have a united European position when we speak with Russia, a position which is perhaps not 100 percent of what you would have wanted, than to have three or four positions from Europe when it talks to Russia".

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Britain also backed restarting the talks but wanted EU foreign ministers on November 10 to agree a statement noting that Russia has not fully met its obligations undertaken by the ceasefire accord.

The two issues – EU-Russia partnership talks and Georgia - have been interlinked since September 1, when EU leaders took a decision, which reads: “Until troops have withdrawn to the positions held prior to 7 August, meetings on the negotiation of the Partnership Agreement [with Russia] will be postponed.”

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