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Lithuania's president said on Friday that EU-Russia talks
Lithuania's president said on Friday that EU-Russia talks on a new strategic partnership deal cannot resume as Russia has failed to fulfill its obligations under an EU-brokered peace deal with Georgia.

"How can we speak about this if the six-point agreement [ending the Russia-Georgia conflict in August] has not been yet implemented?" President Valdas Adamkus said after arriving for an informal European Union summit in Brussels on Friday.

The 27-nation bloc announced on September 1 that it had suspended talks on the pact with Russia over the presence of Russian troops in Georgia following the conflict over breakaway South Ossetia in August. The EU said it would not resume the talks until Russia pulled all its troops in Georgia back to their pre-conflict positions.

Although Moscow then completed its troop pullout from buffer zones in Georgia, questions remain over the scale of its presence in South Ossetia. In particular, Lithuania demands that Russia withdraws its peacekeepers from the Leningorsk district and the upper Kodori Gorge.

The presidents of Poland and Lithuania have said the EU should delay resuming talks on a new EU partnership and cooperation pact with Moscow until all Russian troops are fully withdrawn from South Ossetia and Abkhazia, republics that Russia recognizes as independent states.

EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels on November 10.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner earlier said that the European Union could resume talks on a new cooperation pact with Russia this month. The Russia-EU summit is due to be held in Nice, France, on November 14.

The first round of talks on a new wide-ranging deal between Russia and the EU was held in July. The agreement is set to replace the 1997 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which was extended for a year when it expired in December 2007. The talks were delayed over earlier disputes between Russia and EU members Poland and Lithuania. The second round of talks was to have taken place on September 16.


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