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EU, Putin hedge over energy and rights differences

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EU, Putin hedge over energy and rights differences


A European Union summit in which Russian President Vladimir Putin was a commanding presence has concluded in Finland. A fast-talking Putin said that energy cooperation with the EU should be based on predictability, stability and mutual responsibility. Then, responding to EU urging for Russia to end a blockade of its small neighbour Georgia over a spying row, Putin put the onus on Tbilisi.

He said it was up to them to calm a dispute with Russian-backed breakaway regions in the former Soviet republic. He said: “We are very sorry, very worried – but the situation is heading for possible bloodshed.” Little was said at the joint press conference about freedom of expression questions surrounding the unsolved murder in Russia of a journalist critical of the Kremlin. Near the summit venue in Lahti, Finland, Anna Politkovskaya mourners held a vigil, calling for Putin’s arrest.

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