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BRUSSELS, January 28, 21:57 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia and the European Union have agreed to speed up work on a new basic agreement that would replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
“We have agreed to accelerate work on a new Russia-EU basic agreement,” Putin told journalists after a Russia-EU summit in Brussels.
The remaining issues regarding the text of the new deal should be agreed by the next summit, he said, adding that he did not know to which extent it was possible but that Russia was interested in it.
“Let’s see. I proceed from [the assumption that] it will be possible to resolve many issues that have been disputable up until now during dialogue at the level of experts,” Putin said.
The Russia-EU basic agreement is designed to formalize long-term priorities of bilateral cooperation and promote interaction.
The Russian and EU leaders reached a principled political agreement to conclude a new basic accord to replace the PCA at a summit in London in October 2005.
The two sides started talks on the new document in July 2008. Talks are being held in the format of four working groups on four key sections of the future document: interaction in the sphere of political dialogue and external security; cooperation in the spheres of freedom, security and justice; departmental economic interaction; and cooperation in science, technology, culture, education, media, sports and youth policy.
The new treaty is called upon to establish a firm legal basis of the Russia-EU relations. The sides say it should be a short, framework and overwhelming cooperation document.