Moscow accuses Poland of blackmail

Russia has reacted strongly to the Polish blocking of the EU-Russia partnership, while the Polish PM speaks of sanctions against Moscow.

The spat between Poland and Russia has escalated after the negotiating mandate for the new strategic partnership between EU and Russia was blocked at the EU foreign affairs council on 13 November.

“There are partners who are trying to bring their purely domestic problems to the European level and to drag the EU into settling scores…which is unacceptable for us,” said President Putin’s EU envoy Sergei Yastrzhembsky.

At the same time Yastrzhembsky sought to play it cool as he added that: “If the European Union does not come up with progress initiatives, we will take it easy. Expanding our co-operation is only possible if we respect our mutual interests and if we understand that the language of blackmail and ultimatums is unacceptable.”

Poland wants it to be a condition for a new EU partnership that Russia ratifies the Energy Charter and the Transit protocol. Warsaw also wants Moscow to lift a Russian ban on exports of Polish meat that was introduced last year after a case of forged veterinary certificates.

Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said that the “EU should impose sanctions on Russia” if the ban is not lifted.
EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner has called on Poland to lift its objections. Ferrero-Waldner says that a planned EU Russia summit on 24 November will still go ahead.



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