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EU aiming for 2007 start to Russia trade talks

Written by: Staff

HELSINKI, July 3: The European Union aims to start talks with Russia for a new free trade agreement in 2007 and expects to make a formal decision in November, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said today.

''Our aim is that in November, when we have this EU-Russia summit, to make a decision to start official negotiations ...

and that negotiations would be done during 2007,'' he told a news conference to mark the start of Finland's EU presidency.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, speaking at the same news conference, reiterated that Russia joining the World Trade Organisation was a prerequisite for any bilateral deal between Brussels and Moscow.


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