Archive for the ‘Partnership and Cooperation Agreement’ Category

EU Leaders Not Yet Ready to Forgive Russia Over Georgia

October 17, 2008

BRUSSELS (AFP) – Two months after the war in Georgia and a day after a false start to peace talks, EU leaders were not yet ready Thursday to negotiate upgrading ties to reflect Russia’s hydrocarbon superpower status.

Instead, after a two-day summit in Brussels, they put off making the decision in time for an EU-Russia summit on November 14 in France, allowing the bloc’s leaders to digest an exhaustive report currently being drawn up.

The 27-nation bloc had suspended talks in September on the so-called Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) after Russian troops and tanks rolled into Georgia on August 8 to push back a Georgian offensive to retake the breakaway republic South Ossetia.

Russian soldiers pull out of buffer zones around Georgia's ... 
Russian soldiers pull out of buffer zones around Georgia’s rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Georgian and Russian officials held their first talks since a five-day war in August, as tensions over the rebel regions at the heart of the conflict threatened to derail discussions.(AFP/File/Zviad Nikolaishvili)

Russia has since withdrawn from most of Georgia in line with an EU-brokered ceasefire but Tbilisi is furious at the continued presence of 7,600 Russian troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Russia has sparked international condemnation for its recognition of the two pro-Moscow regions.

“The PCA will resume once the analysis, the evaluation that is being done by the Council (of EU ministers) and commission is finished,” EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told reporters in Brussels. “I hope very much that will be before November 14.”

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Thursday she planned to present her report to a meeting of EU foreign ministers on November 10.

The partnership agreement, talks for which began in July, is aimed to update the framework for relations between the two sides to reflect Russia’s new-found economic clout. Current ties are governed by an agreement dating back to when Russia was reeling from the break-up of the Soviet Union….

Read the rest: