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Russia and the European Union can test their ties for firmness if they use current Ukrainian developments as litmus paper
Russia and the European Union can test their ties for firmness if they use current Ukrainian developments as litmus paper, says Sergei Yastrzhembsky, President Vladimir Putin's special envoy for contacts with the EU. Street rallies have become regarded as a way to settle many election issues, those of constitutional purport included, and certain people make it a point to get the public in the post-Soviet area accustomed to the arrangement, Mr. Yastrzhembsky remarked to the Moscow-based Rossia television company. Such political technologies had a practical test in Poland and recently in Belgrade. "The manner was every time the same. Possibly, the money came from the same purse, and there were the same puppeteers behind the scene. The scenarios were quite similar, too," he stressed. Meanwhile, the West would be loath to see Russia-EU contacts losing dynamism. On the contrary, it is anxious to step up the dialogue. "True, there are many problems, and many matters stay vague-the Kaliningrad issue among them. But, on the whole, we see eagerness to build up the dialogue wherever possible, and wherever shared interests are present. "Evidently, the Ukrainian developments are coming as a test. Here, we clearly see stances varied, though some coincide. That situation found reflection in the go-betweens' role in Ukrainian settlement. Speaker Boris Gryzlov of the State Duma [the Russian parliament's lower house] was among those mediators," said Sergei Yastrzhembsky
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