Gorbachev Urges Cooperation

APGorbachev greeting EU lawmaker Guiletto Chiesa in Budapest on Tuesday.
BUDAPEST -- The European Union will not have true global influence until it finds a way to achieve closer ties with Russia, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said Tuesday.

Gorbachev said that while it was impossible for Russia to become an EU member in the foreseeable future, the two sides needed to draw up a document setting the rules for "advanced cooperation."

If the EU and Russia do not improve relations, "we will fail to make Europe a center of power in the world," Gorbachev said at the start of a session of the World Political Forum, which he founded in 2003.

Europe becoming a power center "is important for the world balance, and if this doesn't happen, global processes will be even more unpredictable," Gorbachev said.

"The EU needs to get a clear and independent voice in global affairs, which has not happened since the end of the Cold War," he said.