Russia to court US and EU in 2005
MOSCOW: Russia is hoping to develop its “partnership” with the United States and the European Union in 2005, especially in the fight against terrorism, a foreign ministry spokesman said Friday.
“Russia is prepared to continue to build a partnership with the US, primarily in fighting terrorism. We are interested no less than the US in developing bilateral cooperation on the basis of coinciding interests,” Alexander Yakovenko was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
He said bilateral meetings in 2004 had “strengthened the trusting nature of relations” between Russia and the United States, which was vital to “international security and stability”. The re-election of US President George W Bush in November “makes it possible to preserve positive continuity in Russian-American relations”, he said.
Yakovenko said Russia’s relations with Europe had been rocky over the past 12 months but the outlook for the year ahead was good. Western European countries criticised Moscow in 2004 over its handling of elections in Ukraine and the dismantling of the Yukos oil company. “The outgoing year was not smooth for relations between Russia and the European Union, but the final balance is certainly positive,” he said, pointing to the planned signing of agreements on cooperation in four “common areas” at a Russia-EU summit scheduled for May. afp