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EU Council of Ministers approves mandate for negotiating new framework agreement with Russian Federation

The EU General Affairs and Foreign Relations Council today adopted a mandate to negotiate a new framework agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation. President of the Council, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel underlined that the Presidency had invested substantial efforts at the highest level within the last two months with a view to overcoming obstacles and confirming the negotiating mandate following a standstill of almost two years.

Dr Rupel pointed out that, in the course of the lengthy negotiations, many countries had voiced reservations, which were duly addressed in the negotiating mandate and the enclosed annexes.

The Slovenian Foreign Minister also paid a visit to Vilnius on 11 May and talked about amendments to the original wording with the Lithuanian Foreign Minister. This refers particularly to the unilateral statement of Lithuania on the explanation of the backgrounds of certain historic events and to the annex on the ‘frozen conflicts’ in Georgia and Moldova. Dr Rupel underlined that it was generally understood that the annex added no new conditions to the mandate.

The Minister expressed satisfaction at the adoption of the mandate, thanking all the Member States for their cooperation in harmonising the text. The adoption of the mandate provides a good basis for the EU-Russia Summit scheduled for the end of June, which will also be the first formal meeting between the highest representatives of the European Union and the new Russian President Medvedev.


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Date: 30.05.2008