It seems likely that the European Union will decide this week to resume talks with Russia on a long-term partnership agreement. This step will get a lot of attention inside the EU, fascinated as ever by the navel-gazing question of how united or divided it is in its Russia policy. One suspects the Russians themselves will be rather less obsessed.
Suspension of the talks was announced by the EU’s 27 leaders at a September 1 summit in Brussels, a few days after Russia effectively dismembered Georgia by recognising Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. At the time, the leaders said they would not resume the talks until Russian forces had withdrawn to positions occupied before August 7. Read more