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  Monday, December 9, 2019
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Warsaw is seeking three-way talks on Russia's embargo on Polish
Warsaw is seeking three-way talks on Russia's embargo on Polish meat in December, which would also involve the European Commission, the country's new agriculture minister said on Monday.

Marek Sawicki said preparations for the talks were underway.

Russia's two-year ban on Polish meat exports has proved a key stumbling block in bilateral relations, and prompted Warsaw to veto talks on a new cooperation pact between the European Union and Russia.

Earlier in the month, Poland invited Russian experts to inspect Polish meat factories in order to pave the way for a lifting of the ban, which was imposed over accusations that Poland was supplying poor-quality meat from third countries.

The government had previously insisted that Moscow first lift its embargo.

Poland's new prime minister told parliament on Saturday that Polish-Russian relations could be improved within 24 hours.

"There are no doubts - and the first signals [from Moscow] indeed show that in the [past] 24 hours, these relations have been improved far more effectively than during the past two years," Donald Tusk said.

He told parliament in his inaugural speech on Friday that relations with Russia must be improved, and that Moscow has shown its willingness to engage in dialogue.

On ties with Moscow, Tusk said: "Absence of dialogue does not serve the interests of either Poland or Russia. It harms the reputations of both countries."

The prime minister said: "I am convinced that the time for positive changes on this issue is now... The signals from our eastern neighbor confirm that this point of view is developing over there as well."


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