EU to mull Russia ties at emergency summit

AFP
Monday, Sept 1, 2008

European Union leaders will put the bloc's relations with Moscow under scrutiny at an emergency summit on Monday, although sanctions against Russia are not in the cards.

"Russia's attachment to a relationship of understanding and cooperation with the rest of Europe is in question," French leader Nicolas Sarkozy said in the official invitation to EU heads of state and government.

"It's up to Russia to make a fundamental choice in this respect," he added.

With France holding the EU's rotating presidency, Sarkozy called the summit in Brussels so that the 27-nation bloc could formulate a "clear and united message" over Russia's conflict with Georgia.

However, the leaders will have to overcome divisions over how to deal with Russia in order to speak with one voice, with many of the ex-communist EU members plus Britain and Sweden pushing for a tough line.

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