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A planned round of negotiations on a new Russia-EU bilateral cooperation
A planned round of negotiations on a new Russia-EU bilateral cooperation agreement will be held in Moscow on April 3, European Commission Moscow office chief Marc Franco said on Tuesday.

"On Friday the meeting of a group of negotiators led by director general [of external relations at the European Commission] Eneko Landaburu and Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov [Russia's EU envoy] will be held," Franco told RIA Novosti.

"During this meeting, the results of the activities of the working groups will be brought together, and the negotiations will take another step forward," he said.

The negotiations will follow a meeting of a working group on trade and economic cooperation to be held on Wednesday.

The official said that the dialog between Russia and the EU "is making good progress," but said the sides still have differences on a number of issues, including human rights.

Russia and the EU have yet to reach common ground on discussions concerning the energy sector and other aspects of trade and economic cooperation, he said.

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.


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