Different signals are coming from Warsaw, Moscow and Brussels over whether Poland may be ready to lift its veto on partnership negotiations between the European Union and Russia. Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has again tied lifting the veto to Moscow ending a 16-month-old ban on Polish meat imports.
Russia’s food watchdog, for its part, has insisted there can be no political trade-off between the two issues. The President of the European Commission, José-Manuel Barroso, was upbeat but non-committal. He said: “The latest developments are positive, the indications we are receiving are positive, they go in the right direction but at this stage I can not yet give you a clear answer if we are going or not to start negotiations and when.”
If more was going on behind the scenes, the different parties were pretty discreet about it. According to Brussels now, Poland is showing a “very constructive orientation”. Poland blocked the EU negotiating mandate last November, demanding an end to the Russian embargo on imports of Polish meat, officially ascribed to fraud incidents.