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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poland Threatens EU-Russia Deal

BRUSSELS -- European Union foreign ministers on Monday will consider proposals for building closer ties with Russia, but they face a possible veto from Poland unless Moscow ends a ban on Polish meat imports and commits to an international energy trade pact.

The EU is preparing a wide-ranging economic cooperation deal with Russia to replace a 1997 accord. EU officials hope a Nov. 24 summit meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki will lead to the opening of negotiations.

Poland is threatening to block progress unless Moscow commits to supply gas and oil under fairer trade rules and to guarantee transit rights to energy supplies from countries such as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Poland also insists that Russia lift a yearlong import ban on Polish meat and some other food products. Moscow said the Polish goods were substandard but Warsaw said the ban was politically motivated after bilateral relations soured over Warsaw's support for democratic change in Ukraine in 2004.

Increasingly dependent on Russian gas and oil imports, the EU is pushing Putin to sign up to an international energy charter that would make it easier for foreign companies to invest in Russia's energy sector and provide legal guarantees for investors.