SCE to AUX
- Sep 14, 2004
- Reaction score
I am beginning to like Angela Merkel more and more. As Diuretic mentioned to me the other day: "They're back," referring to the Soviets. Tensions are indeed rising between the US and Russia, and apparently, between at least some in the EU and Russia. During the '90s, we did not hear too much from the old Soviets. Now that they are increasingly flush with petro dollars, the old Sovets are turning into the new Soviets. To measure Putin's commitment to democracy and freedom of expression, you would need a microscope. If the disagreements between the EU and the Soviets increase, watch the EU scamper back underneath the American security umbrella. We should probably let some, like France and Germany, stand out in the rain for awhile.
Rows Overshadow EU-Russia Talks
Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting EU leaders in southern Russia amid tension between the two sides.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the union's rotating presidency, will lead the EU team at the summit in the city of Samara.
She warned that it would yield no concrete results, but said talks might get to the bottom of disagreements.
Disputes have arisen over the status of Kosovo, energy supplies, trade, and ties between Russia and Estonia.
An EU official attending the talks told the BBC that the tension was palpable.
Initially the main concern was the security of Europe's energy supplies - much of which come from Russia.
But the BBC's Richard Galpin, who is in Samara, says there are now sharp differences over the future status of Kosovo, on how to resolve a trade dispute with Poland and over Estonia's treatment of ethnic Russians.
Ms Merkel, who had dinner with Mr Putin on Thursday, said: "It is better to talk with each other than about each other."
She added: "There are no direct results that can be expected but we will get clues about the reasons for our different opinions."
In a break with previous practice, no joint declaration has been prepared.
Nor will the two sides be able to begin delayed talks on a new strategic partnership agreement, because of a veto imposed by Poland, now supported by Lithuania.
The Samara summit comes just days after the United States and Russia acknowledged their sharp differences during a visit to Moscow by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
During the talks Mr Putin repeated his opposition to US plans for a new missile defence system in Europe.