(www.itar-tass.com) вЂ" Russia counts on resuming talks with the European Union on a new partnership and cooperation agreement during Germany's presidency in the EU, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a jubilee conference of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs on Wednesday.
He said that the talks would be continued as soon as the European Union approves a negotiation mandate that had not been given yet because of the stance of some of countries, reports Trend.
Commenting on the delay in the talks on the new agreement, Lavrov said that it is in the interests of Russia to see the European Union united, maximally predicable and not bound by internal differences.
He expressed the hope that the European Union would be able to work out conditions that would not make the talks hostage to individual and biased stances of specific EU members.
Lavrov said that Russia's stand at the forthcoming talks was elaborated in close contact with business circles.
It is sufficiently flexible and allows keeping a room for manoeuvre.
Lavrov said that consultations on the new agreement with the EU had been already held as sector dialogues.
A progress has been made in some of them, in particular about the EU' not blacklisting the air company.
Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union on January 1, Lavrov went on to say.
The drafting of a protocol extending effect of the Russia-EU partnership and cooperation agreement on these countries is nearing completion.
Lavrov said that Russia had already stated its concerns connected with the admission of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, PRIME-TASS said.
He promised that Russia would make steps in the near time to lift the concerns about Bulgaria and Romania.
He explained that he meant economic differences вЂ" Russia's steel exports, anti-dumping measures, as well as the manufacture in Bulgaria of non-licensed military equipment according to Russian models.
Lavrov cited as Russia's important task in regard of Bulgaria and Romania the extension of long-term contracts for deliveries of nuclear materials from Russia to these countries.
He stressed that the European Union is our main and most complex partner.
We are interested in developing the relations with the European Union, and we hope that we shall closely cooperate with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs at all stages of this development, he said.