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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Senior EU official says Europe sees Russia as threat

RIA Novosti

05/12/2007 16:10 TALLINN, December 5 (RIA Novosti) - The vice president of the European Commission said on Wednesday that European Union countries unanimously saw Russia as a growing threat.

Relations between Russia and the EU have cooled recently over such issues as Kosovo's independence bid, criticism of Russia's recent parliamentary elections, and European concerns over Russia's energy policy.

"If you look through Europe's leading newspapers to see how many positive articles they have about Russia, you will not find any. Russia is seen as a serious and increasing threat," said Siim Kallas, also a former Estonian premier, in an interview with Estonia's Eesti Paevaleht newspaper.

Ties between Russia and Estonia, an EU member since 2004, have been tense since the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, with tensions reaching boiling point this year over Estonia's decision to relocate a Soviet-era monument.

Kallas said his three and a half years of service in Brussels had seen the EU's policy on Russia become increasingly coordinated.

"The times when a country could say it had its own policy toward Russia are history," he said. "Those who would like to establish 'special relations' with Russia are quiet today."

He said that not a single leader of any EU country would venture to pursue a policy that would deviate significantly from the 27-nation bloc's common course.

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