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EU-Russia boost ties with climate and trade pledges

EU-Russia boost ties with climate and trade pledges
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EU and Russian officials have called their latest annual summit “the best yet”. The European Union reiterated support for its powerful trade neighbour’s bid to join the WTO and Russia said it is taking the upcoming UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen seriously. Ties had been strained over last year’s war in Georgia.

In Stockholm, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said: “On the climate subject we share the same concerns. We also want to make this cooperation go forward more actively. Russia has always been in the mainstream of European preoccupations over what to do about the climate problem.” He also said Russia hopes to complete a new economic cooperation pact with the EU soon. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso concentrated on the December talks: “With the Copenhagen conference starting in just over two weeks, I very much welcome the signal from president Medvedev today of their proposed emission reduction target of 25 per cent.” There was a marked improvement in EU-Russia relations with an agreement this week on an “early warning” mechanism to shield Europe from energy supply cuts. Europe was left short of gas it contracts from Russia for three weeks in freezing January after a dispute between Moscow and key transit country Ukraine (non-EU) over prices.