EU foreign relations commissioner positive on summit in Russia
The European Union's relations with Russia are set to improve under President Dimitry Medvedev, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said in an interview with German public radio Saturday.
Speaking to Deutschlandfunk after an EU-Russian summit in the Siberian city of Khanty Mansiysk, Ferrero-Waldner said Medvedev's appointment had lent "new impetus" to relations with the 27-member bloc, dpa reported.
Ferrero-Waldner described the talks as "very frank" and held in "an excellent atmosphere," with Medvedev making clear that he saw the EU as "a genuine partner."
She said Medevdev was more open than his predecessor, Vladimir Putin, to discussing themes such as the rule of law and human rights.
The two sides have agreed to begin talks in July on a new partnership agreement to replace the previous agreement dating back to 1997.
Poland had blocked earlier attempts to renegotiate the agreement in protest at a Russian ban on meat imports, and Lithuania objected to what it saw as Russian interference in Georgia and Moldova.
The EU is hoping for Russian guarantees on oil and gas deliveries.