Javier Solana on Initiative of 4 European Countries to Set Up Defence Union

The initiative of France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg on setting up a defence union should become an important step towards improving the effectiveness of the EU in politics and defence. The European Union's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana said as much after negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Moscow on Wednesday.

"I think that all the efforts the European Union is making to enhance its performance in the military sphere should be welcomed and continued," Solana said. According to him, the European Union intends to co-operate with its partners, including Russia.

The Russian foreign minister said that the initiative of the four European countries was not discussed separately at the negotiations with Solana. According to Igor Ivanov, Moscow considers this initiative "a start of the process within the EU and will follow attentively its progress." Russia would like to develop full-fledged co-operation with the European Union in all spheres, including security and defence, the minister stressed.

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