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EU summit focuses on financial crisis, climate change
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France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) and his Prime Minister Francois Fillon (L) talk with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker on the last day of a two-day EU summit in Brussels October 16, 2008.[Xinhua/Reuters Photo] 

But it failed to set a timetable to resume talks on a new cooperation and partnership deal, but only vaguely said in the conclusion: "It (European Council) will be taken into account in the further negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement with Russia".

The summit asked the commission and the council to continue a full in-depth evaluation of EU-Russia relations with a view to the forthcoming summit in Nov. 14 in Nice, France.

An earlier version of the conclusion had said that talks would restart in November, but France, the current EU presidency, did not make it to convince Britain, Poland, Sweden and Baltic states to agree with it.

These countries have opposed to any quick move towards warming up ties with Russia, insisted that the EU should make sure Russia is fully observing an EU-mediated ceasefire agreement before resuming negotiations.

Russia completed its pullout on Oct. 8 of troops stationed in the "buffer zones" adjacent to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway regions of Georgia.

The EU suspended the talks after a Georgia-Russia conflict in the summer.

On ties with other eastern neighbors, the conclusion said that EU "is resolved, in particular through its neighborhood policy, to supporting its eastern neighbors in their efforts to achieve economic modernization and democratization."

The summit called for relations between the EU and the Republic of Moldova and Georgia to be strengthened, asking the European Council to conduct an initial examination of the proposals for a future "Eastern Partnership" of the EU.

On energy security, the leaders agreed to step up efforts to ensure security of energy supply for the bloc, which is a priority for the 27-member bloc.

The EU is to pursue with determination the diversification of energy sources, and develop crisis mechanisms to deal with temporary disruptions to supplies, said a conclusion document after the meeting.

It will expedite the implementation of the European Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the Strategic Energy Technology Plan, and finalize the legislative package on the internal market in electricity and gas before the June 2009 elections of the European Parliament.

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