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EU threatens end to partnership talks with Moscow

EU threatens end to partnership talks with Moscow
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The EU’s 27 leaders, brought together by current EU president France to thrash out a response to the Georgian crisis at the bloc’s first extraordinary summit in six years, has released a joint communique.

In it the EU has achieved consensus; there will be no sanctions now, but an immediate threat to postpone important Russia-EU partnership talks due to resume in two weeks.

“In agreement with all the EU members we are going to Moscow and Tibilisi on Monday to demand the scrupulous application of the six-point peace plan,” said summit head and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

EU foreign policy head Javier Solana, Sarkozy’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will take the message to Moscow:

“The dramatic events of the last few weeks have raised serious questions about the state of EU – Russian relations. We want a modern partnership that takes into account our fundamental mutual interests, a partnership that we think is in the common interests of Russia and the European Union,” said Barroso.

Sarkozy says that if on Monday there is no proof from Russia that it will apply the plan, which includes a full military withdrawal, then the partnership talks would be postponed.
Sarkozy said agreement was “easily” reached. While some may have wanted a tougher response, the talks are important for Moscow, and their postponement would be a blow.