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Moscow hopes Eastern Partnership won't compel members to choose between Russia, EU - Lavrov

MOSCOW. May 6 (Interfax) - Moscow hopes that the European Union's Eastern Partnership program will not compel the member-countries to choose between Russia and the EU.

"We have shared with our Polish colleagues our views on individual statements, made in Brussels during the preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit. We have shared our concerns that some might wish to present the countries, invited to participate, with a choice - Russia or the European Union - which is clear from some of these statements," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow after talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.

"We duly appreciate the explanations, provided by Mr. Sikorski today, who said this is not in Poland's plans as the initiator of the program," he said.

"We welcome these explanations and we hope that this is precisely how the Eastern Partnership program will develop and that partnership will not proceed along the lines the European Commission opted for as it was preparing the recent conference on the Ukrainian gas transportation system, when attempts were made to tackle issues directly affecting Russia without Russia's participation," the Russia foreign minister said.