Poland to drop veto on new EU-Russian partnership agreement
( dpa ) - Poland is ready to drop its veto of renewed talks on a partnership agreement between the European Union and Russian, Poland's foreign minister said in Moscow on Monday, news agency Interfax reported.
In December, Russia lifted a long-running ban on Polish meat imports that had been a great source of diplomatic tension between the two nations - spilling over into worsening EU-Russian relations.
Meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said that the improvement in trade relations had removed Poland's last objections to a new EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).
"I am very happy that the trade embargo has become history. I think that this allows us to unblock negotiations for voting a new mandate on EU-Russian relations," Sikorski said.
The removal of Poland's veto may herald the end of a standoff in relaunching the EU-Russia treaty, which was automatically extended after it expired in November and for which all 27 permanent EU members need to agree on a mandate for talks.
Relations between Poland and Russia sank to perhaps a lowest point ever during two years of government under the conservative nationalist rule of the twin Kaczynski brothers over energy issues and Russia's opposition to US plans to install a missile defence shield on Polish soil.
But tensions immediately thawed in October with the arrival of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who promised to improve Poland's ties with Russia.
Sikorski, who was in Moscow to prepare for Tusk's first official visit in February, also made headway on the contentious issue of US missile defence plans.