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EU Trade Chief Says Russia Ties At Post-Cold War Low

Peter Mandelson (file photo) (official site) April 20, 2007 -- EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is set today to warn that EU-Russia relations could go very wrong unless there are clearer rules governing the global energy trade.

In excerpts of a speech he is due to deliver later today at a conference in Italy, Mandelson says trust between the European Union and Russia has reached its lowest level since communism's collapse.

Mandelson, a key figure in Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), said both the European Union and Russia suspect each other of using energy policy as a political weapon.

"Russia needs to be in the WTO," he said, but he urged Moscow to adopt transparent rule of law and stem state influence on the economy.

Clear rules, he added, to allow investments to flow easily between Russia and the EU would interlock markets and deepen stability.

(Reuters, AP)

Russia And The EU

Russia And The EU

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) with EU foreign policy representative Javier Solana in Sochi in May 2006 (epa)

A POLICY OF APPEASEMENT? Ralf Fuecks, head of the Heinrich Boell Foundation and a Green Party activist, spoke at RFE/RL's Prague broadcast center about the EU's complex relations with a resurgent Russia. RFE/RL President Jeff Gedmin moderated the discussion.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 60 minutes):
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