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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2007, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Press downbeat on Russia-EU talks
European Press graphic

Papers in Russia and several EU countries have given the thumbs-down to the Russia-EU summit held near the city of Samara, at which the two sides traded sharp criticism over human rights.

Russian commentators lament the fact that the proceedings were so dominated by human rights issues, and also deplore Poland's vetoing of any new strategic partnership until Russia lifts its ban on Polish meat imports.

Polish commentators dismiss the summit as a failure, while German, Portuguese and Spanish papers conclude that it only served to highlight the divisions between the two sides.

RUSSIA

ANDREY KOLESNIKOV IN KOMMERSANT

The EU-Russia summit that took place near Samara yesterday ended without results. Instead of discussion on a new partnership and cooperation agreement, the sides accused each other of human rights violations and pondered the subject of pure democracy.

VLADIMIR KUZMIN IN ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA

The issue of a new agreement on partnership and cooperation, so important from the point of view of further cooperation in relations between Russia and the EU, is in the vice of a veto slapped on it by Poland.

GENNADIY CHARODEYEV IN TRUD

Despite incitement by ill-wishers, there were no political sensations, no scandals of any kind at the Russia-EU summit... The West does not want to fall out either with Moscow, or with its partners in Eastern Europe, while Russia made it clear that it does not give in to blackmail and will be tough in the defence of its positions... The summit refused to be tripped up by Poland.

POLAND

GAZETA WYBORCZA

The summit in Samara yesterday, during which no decisions were made, was one of the most unsuccessful meetings of Russian and EU leaders. The summit signals a failure of the German leadership of the EU.

RZECZPOSPOLITA

The Putin-Barroso-Merkel meeting showed how deep the division is between the European Union and Russia... Vladimir Putin was trying to divide the Union and Poland... The concrete list of achievements turned out to be meagre.

MAREK MAGIEROWSKI IN RZECZPOSPOLITA

No smiles, sharp exchanges of opinion, a cold atmosphere - this is how the press conference given by Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Jose Manuel Barroso yesterday looked.

GERMANY

JÖRG HIMMELREICH IN DIE WELT

The EU-Russia summit has come to an end without concrete results. It marks a further low point in Russian-European relations, which are steadily worsening.

FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG

At their meeting on the Volga, Russia and the EU engaged in an openly hostile exchange over issues of conflict that still remain unresolved... Putin may have spoken about "agreement on almost all points", but yet again he attacked EU members Poland and Estonia.

DANIEL BRÖSSLER IN SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG

A frosty mood in Samara - and for the time being no way out of the crisis in relations.

PORTUGAL

PUBLICO

The leaders of Russia and the EU exchanged harsh criticism about democracy and respect for human rights at a summit where the distance between the two blocks was visible.

CORREIO DA MANHA

The burning issues of trade, energy supply and Kosovo's status ended with no agreement in sight, and the meetings emphasized, rather than resolved, the current differences.

DIARIO DE NOTICIAS

[Portuguese] Prime Minister Jose Socrates, who will visit Moscow shortly, will need the greatest political ability to attempt to unblock various areas if he wants to avoid Mafra [location of next summit] being a political disaster like Samara.

SPAIN

EL PAIS

The EU showed solidarity with Poland, Estonia and Lithuania yesterday at its six-monthly summit with Russia... at which Brussels and Vladimir Putin's government aired their differences both on specific themes (Polish meat exports) and general issues (the concept of democracy and civil liberties).

EL MUNDO

The Samara summit was marked by a lack of agreement on overcoming the "meat curtain", which is preventing Moscow and Brussels from harmonizing their relations.

LA RAZON

The summit that brought the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, together with the EU's top leaders in Samara yesterday showed yet again the differences between the two sides.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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