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Caucasus is no trouble for strategic partnership2009-02-13 13:15
On February 11 High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the EU Javier Solana, Czech and Swedish Foreign Ministers Karel Schwartsenberg and Carl Bildt arrived in Moscow for an official visit. At the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov they discussed relations between Russia and the European Union as well the situation in the Caucasus.
"We consider our relations as strategic, - these were the Russian FM's first words at the meeting according to Interfax, - these are relations of partners connected by our history and our future, I am sure".
Sergey Lavrov's dialogue with the UN triumvirate is traditionally held twice a year, RIA Novosti specifies. The European side is represented by the EU chairing state's Foreign Minister and the FM of the future chairing state, as well as an EC member.
This meeting had a special significance as only now, half a year after the end of the August events, the dialogue between Russia, the EU and NATO "is ready for repair" as Sergey Lavrov put it. It will be remembered that at that time the relations grew tense following Moscow's proposal to convene an extraordinary session of Russia-NATO Council on the situation in South Ossetia that was eventually blocked by Washington.
Now both the European Union and the North Atlantic alliance displayed their interest to such "repair". Another evidence is a recent joint statement of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of France Nicolas Sarkozy. In particular, they advocated enhancement of the EU-Russia cooperation within the Russia-NATO Council in all possible ways. "We want to dialogue with Russia on security policy as partners", - the statement goes.
Moscow in its turn is ready to make advances suggesting a new treaty on European security. According to RIA Novosti the negotiators managed to make progress discussing the document at the meeting in Smolenskaya square.
"Today we have made significant progress on the treaty, - Javier Solana pointed out after the talks were over, - there are fewer unresolved issues now". He emphasized that there was progress on the Russia-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
Nevertheless South Caucasus is among outstanding issues. Now international monitor missions in Georgia and in new subjects of international law - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - have either completed their activity or are winding up (the OSCE and UN).
And the explosive region needs external control as time has shown.