Russia delays missile deployment aimed at EU

The European Union and Russia’s leaders have wrapped up their one day summit in Nice, France, aiming to soften the prospect of a politically icy winter ahead.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked President Dmitry Medvedev not to deploy missiles on Russian territory near Poland in response to American plans to place a missile shield there.

Sarkozy said Medvedev had agreed to hold off for the moment.

The French leader said: “I remain convinced that the Russian Federation and Europe have every interest in working together ôn a common economic space. This would permit the creation of interdependency, which would rule out all forms of confrontation, because that would hamper common interests.”

Medvedev said he supported the French EU presidency’s proposal to hold talks in May on pan-European security.

Sarkozy said a NATO summit set for April could offer an opportunity to discuss ideas to be addressed at the Russian talks.

The Russian leader said: “I absolutely agree that before any special global European security accord is signed we must refrain from all unilateral measures which could influence the outcome.”

The head of the European Commission said rekindling talks on a new EU-Russia partnership pact would start next week.

Those talks were frozen by the war in Georgia.

Resuming them has encountered strong reservations from some EU members.

From Nice, the leaders head to Washington to work on global financial reform at the G20 emergency summit.

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