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    RUSSIA READY FOR COMPROMISE WITH EU

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    MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is ready for constructive dialogue with the European Union but hopes the EU will meet it halfway and take into account its interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday while receiving Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini in the Kremlin.

    "We are ready for positive constructive dialogue. We are ready for compromise. I believe during negotiations we will show goodwill more than once, and these signs will be understandable and evident," the Russian president said.

    "But we also hope our partners will meet us halfway, that our interests will be taken into account, too," Putin said. "We do not want to establish some exclusive relations with the EU, but we would like our relations to be built on a good-neighborly basis with due account for each other's interests." The Russian president expressed the hope that the ideas of the Italian leadership will be realized. "If it happens, Russia and Europe will succeed in creating a European space - both economic and humanitarian," Vladimir Putin said.

    The Italian foreign minister arrived in Moscow Wednesday morning. After the meeting with Vladimir Putin, Frattini will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov.

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