Poland's Sikorski calls for start to EU-Russia negotiations

Warsaw  - Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Thursday in Warsaw that it was "high time" for the European Union to start negotiating with Russia over a new partnership agreement.

Poland would "not impede" the start of talks, Sikorski said after a meeting with his Dutch counterpart, Maxime Verhagen.

Sikorski said that Polish demands that a Russian import ban on Polish meat be lifted, and energy security be included in the talks, had been met.

The minister told journalists that Poland would not be setting any further conditions on the talks.

Moscow imposed a ban on Polish meat at the end of 2005 over hygiene concerns.

Warsaw said the move was politically motivated and vetoed a new framework agreement between the EU and Russia.

The new government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk elected in the autumn of 2007 pledged to improve ties with Russia. (dpa)

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