'Serious' Pact Sought With EU

Russia wants to negotiate a "serious" pact governing its relationship with the European Union but not one overburdened with detail, President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview.

Speaking ahead of a key summit between Russia and the EU starting Thursday in Khatny-Mansiisk, Medvedev said Russia saw itself as "a major European state … that defines itself as part of Europe," but he avoided any criticism of EU member states.

Although he described the EU as a "comfortable" partner for Russia, Medvedev said its guiding principle of solidarity could "at times create problems for the functioning of EU mechanisms."

This was a reference to the 18-month delay in starting the partnership talks after first Poland and then Lithuania raised objections.

EU states want to use the partnership talks to improve protection for EU companies investing in Russia. But Medvedev said Moscow did not want to become tied down with lhttp://www.moscowtimes.ru/article/1009/42/368539.htmarge amounts of fine print in a document that should serve only as a framework for other more detailed pacts.

"It must be a serious document but, at the same time, not burdened with absolutely concrete things; to a large degree it should be a framework agreement that will set out the basic positions for development in the years ahead," he said. He named the key priorities for relations with the EU as political cooperation, energy cooperation and cooperation in fighting crime.

Read the Transcript of Medvedev Interview http://www.moscowtimes.ru/article/1009/42/368539.htm