No business as usual with Russia, says Poland’s PM

12:06, 02 September 2008
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Russia should observe already adopted agreements

Russia should observe already adopted agreements and withdraw its troops from the small Caucasian Republic, EU leaders demanded yester at the extraordinary summit in Brussels on the Georgian crisis. Until Moscow fulfils these demands talks on the next EU-Russia agreement remain frozen, Polskie Radio informs.

During the press briefing by the Polish delegation immediately after the summit, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk pointed out that it is very important for the EU to send a signal that the 27 member bloc will not carry on with a "business as usual” policy towards Russia as long as it is bullying its neighbours.

 "I firmly believe that when Mr Sarkozy, Mr. Barroso and Mr. Solana will go to Moscow on 8 September we will see Russia cooperating and see Russian soldiers withdrawn9from areas of Georgia]".

 President Lech Kaczynski stressed the importance of the forthcoming summit between the European Union and Ukraine on 9 September. He was satisfied that recent events had pushed his fellow head of states and governments to acknowledge that intensifying EU´s efforts with regard to the security of energy supplies is needed now more than ever.

 The EU leaders expressed their grave concern by the conflict in Georgia, leading to great suffering of the civilian population. Therefore the EU pledged to immediately supply aid for reconstruction in Georgia, including the break-away regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

 In order to facilitate reconstruction efforts EU states expressed their readiness to step up its relations with Georgia, including visa facilitation measures and the possible establishment of free trade area. Moreover, in due course an international conference aimed at assisting reconstruction will take place.

 The EU leaders strongly condemned Russia`s decision to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, stressing that a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Georgia must be based on a full respect for the principles of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 Having in mind potential effects of the current crisis on the situation in the entire Caucasus region, the summit communiqué highlights the necessity of stepping up EU relations with its eastern neighbours, in particular through the Polish and Swedish initiative of the so-called "Eastern Partnership".

Polskie Radio

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