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  Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Wednesday
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Wednesday it was "too early to say" when a new Russia-EU cooperation agreement would be reached.

The new agreement is set to replace the 1997 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which was extended for a year when it expired in December 2007. Talks on a new deal have been repeatedly delayed, initially by Poland and Lithuania and most recently over Russia's August conflict with Georgia over South Ossetia.

A decision to resume the negotiations was made at the Russia-EU summit in Nice on November 14, despite objections from Lithuania.

"We have had three rounds of negotiations so far, which have allowed us to get a better view of each others' positions. However, we are still very much in the initial phases of a negotiating process which could take some time," Solana, who is currently on a visit to Moscow, said.

However, he said that since the issue was of importance both for Russia and the European Union it would be desirable for all parties if negotiations were concluded as quickly as possible.

"There is no doubt, however, that this is an important negotiation, for both of us, and that we will try to make quick progress," he said.


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