As Moscow tries to downplay the effects of a Polish veto against the start of talks on a new partnership with the European Union, it’s reported the row at the centre of the crisis is close to being solved. Poland imposed the veto in retaliation for Russia’s ban on its meat exports. “The ball is in Europe’s court and it’s up to them to react and solve the problem at their end,” said a spokesman for the Russian president. “For me it’s regrettable that Poland is suffering over meat that’s not even theirs, but is in transit.”
Ahead of an EU-Russia summit on Friday, debate has focused on how it was possible that US liver exported through Poland was mislabelled and how Indian buffalo meat ended up being sold in Russia as Polish beef. “It’s not up to the European community to answer questions about exports to third countries,” said a spokesman at the European Commission. “But the commission underlines the political importance of this question in the general context of our relations with Russia.” Observers say it’s important the EU agrees on a mandate to open talks on a new treaty with Moscow, given the fact it supplies around 30 percent of the bloc’s energy.