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Poland Calls For EU Sanctions On Russia

Sergei Yastrzhembsky (standing) with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a Russia-European Union summit in 2005 (ITAR-TASS) November 14, 2006 -- Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said today the European Union should impose sanctions on Russia because of its ban on Polish farm products.

Kaczynski said all EU nations should stick together if Russia fails to play fair, but he said a far better solution would be for Russia to lift the ban, which he said was wholly unjustified.

His comments came one day after Poland blocked on November 13 the launch of talks on a new cooperation agreement between the EU and Russia.

Poland insisted that Russia should first lift a yearlong Russian embargo on Polish meat and a number of other food products, and make commitments regarding energy supplies by ratifying an international energy charter.

A senior Russian official on November 14 described the Polish stance as "unacceptable."

Sergei Yastrzhembsky, President Vladimir Putin's special representative on relations with the EU, accused Poland of trying to bring purely domestic problems onto the European stage.

The EU had hoped to launch talks on a new partnership agreement at a November 24 summit with Russia in Helsinki.

(compiled from agency reports)