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17 Sep, 2009 06:43

Russia and EU should “stick together, like vodka and caviar”

Russia and the EU should remain close allies. They share a common history and have a similar spirit, says the former head of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, who spoke to RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze.

The fact that the relationship between Russia and the EU is unsteady is “a disaster”, according to Prodi.

“I never succeeded in, let’s say, having a long-term strategy between us. We are like vodka and caviar, we have to stick together. We have common interests. Please, let us stop a bit and think… Of course Russia is not all looking at West… But I don’t see any long-term issue in which we diverge,” he said.

Russia may not be interested in becoming an EU member anytime soon, but the European Union’s interests are not in further enlargement at the moment, Romano Prodi believes.

“Now we really have to rethink all the institutional changes, the institutional reinforcement before another enlargement. I proposed – and the proposal is still on the table, even though in Europe decisions are now so slow – to create a so-called ring of friends. If countries want to share strong economical and political relations with the EU, they can do it. The idea is to offer neighbors friendly relations without EU membership. I think in this historical moment it’s the only wise decision to take.”

The former top European official also commented to RT on the rumors over his alleged past connections with the KGB.

“I was laughing three times during this circus. First time when they hinted this, it was absolutely foolish. The second time was when the people who invented it published it. And the third time when Putin said: ‘You should have told me, because I didn’t know anything’. It’s part of silly political gossip.”