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  Thursday, December 12, 2019
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The next round of talks on a comprehensive Russia-EU partnership
The next round of talks on a comprehensive Russia-EU partnership deal will be held in June, Russia's EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday.

Moscow hosted on Friday the fourth round of negotiations on a new cooperation agreement between Russia and the 27-nation bloc, set to replace the 1997 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which was extended after its expiry 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. The talks were resumed on December 2 last year, following a decision reached at the Russia-EU summit in Nice in November.

"In the first 10 days of June the working group will meet, and in the following 10 days a plenary session of the fifth round of talks, bringing together experts to discuss the basic Russia-EU agreement, will be held," Chizhov told journalists in Moscow.

The Russia Permanent Partnership Council on Energy (PPC) will also hold a ministerial level session on April 30 in Moscow, the diplomat said.

Chizhov said that during Friday's talks, the sides did not discuss the energy aspects of the new document.

On the issue of a recent gas transit deal between Ukraine and the EU, Chizhov said Russia "expects to be given explanations."

The EU and Ukraine signed an agreement last week on modernizing Ukraine's Soviet-era pipelines, triggering an angry reaction from Russia, which exports most of its Europe-bound gas via Ukraine. Moscow said the deal failed to take into account its interests.

Moscow has delayed inter-governmental talks with Kiev, and threatened to review energy ties with Europe if its interests are disregarded.


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