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BRUSSELS, January 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Another round of negotiations on the conclusion of a new Russia-EU framework agreement will be held soon after the 32nd Russia-EU summit that will be held in Brussels on January 28, Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told Russian reporters on Wednesday. Chizhov heads Russia’s delegation at the negotiations.
“No formal decision on the negotiations’ revival is needed, but a political signal (from the summit participants) would be very handy,” Chizhov said.
According to him, the negotiations’ technical interruption period, that continues for three years already, is coming to an end. In the view of the Russian ambassador, this pause was caused by the process of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which “affected the entire legal base of our economic relations.”
“Not long ago, this issue was discussed by the Russian government. The negotiating guidelines on the basis of which I intend to intensify the negotiating process have been renewed,” the ambassador said.
“I am guided by the summit’s political signal, so that we could shortly after the summit hold the next, 13th round of the negotiations,” Chizhov said. He recalled that the previous round of negotiations in the Russia-EU framework agreement was held in November-December 2010.
Replacing the old agreement
At a summit in London in October 2005, the Russian and EU leaders reached a political agreement in principle to conclude a new framework agreement that should replace the current agreement on partnership and co-operation.
Russia and the EU had begun negotiations on the new document in July 2008. The negotiations are held in the format of four working groups on the four main sections of the future document: on interaction in the sphere of political dialogue and external security; co-operation in the spheres of freedom, security and justice; sectoral economic interaction; and co-operation in questions of culture, education, vocational training, sports and youth policy.
The new agreement is to create a more solid legal base for the Russia-EU relations. Russia and the EU have also an understanding among them that it “will be a brief, framework document that would simultaneously cover all co-operation spheres.