EU Expansion to Produce New Elements in Russia's Relations With Countries of Central and Eastern Europe

Accession of ten new members to the European Union will bring forth new elements in Russia's relations not only with the European Union as a whole but also with individual countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov points out in an article published by the Izvestia newspaper on Saturday.

Russia deems it vitally important that the EU expansion should not result in "re-emergence of any demarcation lines or deterioration of Russia's economic positions in the markets of the new EU members," Igor Ivanov emphasized. In his opinion, it would be "counter-productive to Russia, the united Europe and all Europeans." In the Russian Foreign Minister's opinion, Russia and the European Union are currently cooperating "fairly well". At the same time, he underlined that "quite a few issues of our trade and economic relations" still remain unsettled. According to Igor Ivanov, it applies primarily to EU's anti-dumping procedures against Russian exporters as well as restrictions on supplies of certain Russian goods to the EU market.

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