(AP) - EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Thursday he thinks a spat between Russia and Poland over meat imports will soon be resolved, opening the door for negotiations for a new partnership accord between the 25-member bloc and Moscow.
The Russian ban on Polish meat and grain imports has prompted Warsaw to veto the launch of talks on a new, more ambitious EU-Russia cooperation accord meant to replace a 1997 deal that expires next year, reports Trend.
"My impression today is that the problem between Russia and Poland is about to be resolved," Solana told reporters after meeting with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. He did not elaborate on how or when the issue would be solved.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso can only start negotiations with Russia if all 25 EU governments agree to it.
"I hope very much that soon we will be able to start the negotiations" with Russia, Solana said. But, he added, "the negotiations will take time, and they will be difficult."
The planned partnership would include fair trade in energy a priority for the Western Europeans who are heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas imports.
Earlier Thursday, Solana said in a speech at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs that the energy dependency is "the most important question we have now with Russia."
"It's a very political question," he said. "Gas is an instrument of power."