Poland taking a different stance on Russia/EU

TODAY’S ZAMAN

Poland has softened its opposition to talks between the European Union and Russia on a new cooperation agreement, but it remains unclear if Warsaw will lift its veto soon, diplomats said on Wednesday.

A Polish diplomat said the country’s envoy to the EU told his counterparts this week that Warsaw was keen to end the stand-off between the bloc and Russia. But diplomats from other countries cautioned that they had heard such comments before. Poland vetoed the launch of negotiations for a new EU-Russia strategic partnership last year in protest at a Russian import ban on Polish meat. So far, it has demanded a Russian commitment to end the 16-month-old ban before talks can start. “Our goal is not to block the negotiations, we would like to reach an agreement,” the Polish diplomat told Reuters. The diplomat said Poland would agree to let talks start if the EU attached a suitable statement to the negotiating mandate. Current EU president Germany is making diplomatic efforts to break the deadlock in time for an EU-Russia summit on May 18. EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss the mandate at their April 23 meeting in Luxembourg.

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