Britain urges suspension of EU-Russia talks

Britain called on Monday for the European Union to suspend talks on a new partnership agreement with Russia in protest at Moscow's military intervention in Georgia.

Britain urges suspension of EU-Russia talks
"In light of Russia's actions ... we should suspend negotiations on a successor to the partnership and cooperation agreement between the EU and Russia," a spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters in London.

"We think we need to take a root and branch review of the EU's relationship with Russia," he said.

He was speaking shortly before Brown and other EU leaders meet in Brussels for an emergency summit which follows weeks of talks between EU capitals over how far to go to punish Russia for its military campaign in Georgia.

Baltic states also want a second round of talks on a planned EU-Russia partnership pact, scheduled for Sept. 15-16, to be postponed. The planned agreement covers areas such as trade, human rights and energy policy.

However, France, the current holder of the EU presidency, Germany and Italy have said any punitive action against the largest energy supplier to the bloc would be premature.

Brown believed that Russia's recent actions had "strengthened the case for diversifying not only away from oil and gas but away from dependence on Russian oil and gas," his spokesman said. "That is something we will be looking to discuss with our EU partners today."

Brown's spokesman said Britain wanted "a strong and united EU message today that we must be clear in our support for Georgia's territorial integrity and in condemning Russia's actions."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Eylül 2008, 15:12