Estonia,Latvia hope for early EU-Russia talks on new ties pact

China News Service
May 12, 2008

VILNIUS, May 12 (Xinhua) — Estonia and Latvia on Monday expressed hopes for early talks between the European Union and Russia on signing a new partnership accord, according to Baltic News Service (BNS) reports reaching here from Tallinn.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet told BNS that he hopes the EU and Russia will launch their planned talks on forging a new strategic “Partnership and Cooperation Agreement” as soon as possible, and suggested that the talks be initiated during the EU-Russia summit in Siberia from June 26-27. Referring to fellow EU member Lithuania’s objections over the issue, Paet said all problems should be addressed via talks, while acknowledging that the negotiations will not be easy. Paet’s Latvian counterpart Maris Riekstins echoed his view, saying that direct talks were the best solution to problems blocking EU-Russia relations. While saying that Lithuania’s objections and demands are crucial to the 27 EU states, Riekstins expressed hope the bloc will find a way to allay Lithuania’s doubts on the matter.