Merkel urges EU common stand, dialogue with Russia

Other News Materials 26 August 2008 23:13 (UTC +04:00)

German Chanellor Angela Merkel showed confidence Tuesday that the European Union will manage to find common ground on the Russian-Georgian conflict, dpa reported.

Merkel said she is also ready to attempt more talks with Moscow ahead of the next week's EU emergency summit.

"We will not solve conflicts if we do not talk to each other," Merkel said in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, after a meeting with Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus.

Merkel's visit to the Baltic nations of Lithuania and Estonia came as the Kremlin officially recognized Georgia's two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

She added that it also must be clear that common values and basic principles must be met for cooperation between the European Union and Russia.

The EU and NATO members, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania fiercely supported Georgia in its showdown with Russia in the last three weeks and urged the 27-nation bloc to toughen penalties with Moscow, such as reconsidering the framework of a partnership agreement or not easing EU visa restrictions with Russia.

The leaders of EU members will meet for an emergency summit on Monday to discuss Russian-Georgian conflict.

The six-point plan brokered by the French EU presidency to withdraw Russian troops from Georgia should "now be implemented," said Merkel in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

Speaking to journalists, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said talks with Russia could not continue until Moscow fulfilled its obligations under the peace plan, including returning troops in the conflict to the positions before the fighting broke out on August 6.