EU, Russia to resume talks on partnership pact soon: Barroso

November 14th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Nice (France), Nov 14 (RIA Novosti) The European Union (EU) and Russia have agreed to restart talks on a new partnership and cooperation agreement, the head of the EU’s executive wing said Friday.The European Commission was ready to send a delegation to Moscow at the beginning of next year so that top level contacts could be resumed, Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, said after an EU-Russia summit in the French resort city of Nice.

Attending the summit, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hailed the end of the delay in the talks, which were frozen amid a diplomatic row caused by a five-day war between Russia and Georgia over breakaway South Ossetia in August.

Western powers were initially critical of Russia’s reaction to Georgia’s attack on the breakaway republic, but this stance has softened of late.

On Monday, the 27-nation European bloc said that talks on a partnership agreement would resume later this month, despite opposition from Lithuania.

“The conflict in Georgia has emphasised the crucial need for permanent political dialogue between the EU and the Russian Federation, while the global economic crisis has underlined once more the interdependence between the EU and Russian economies,” Barroso said before the summit.

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