Poland blocks new Russia-EU pact

Poland has vetoed the launch of talks between Russia and the European Union on a new co-operation pact as it wants Russia to lift a ban on Polish food imports and ratify the Energy Charter Treaty.

The new pact is intended to replace the current agreement which expires at the end of this year.

But Poland's move effectively stalls negotiations which were meant to start later this month. Other EU members have urged Poland to lift the veto, while Russia has called for the dispute to be resolved bilaterally.

Warsaw and the EU say the boycott of Polish food is unjustified, as it is not banned anywhere else.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski also wants Russia to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty which would guarantee energy supplies to Europe.

Mr Kaczynski believes the current deal between Russia and the EU does not serve Poland's best interests.

“We stand for good relations with Russia, but these ties should be beneficial for us. The Russia-EU agreement in its present form does not serve the interests of my country,” Polish President said.