02:49 GMT +316 December 2017
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    EU referendum results will not influence Russia-EU relations

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    MOSCOW, JUNE 1, (RIA Novosti's Sergei Ryabikin) - "The results of a referendum on the EU constitution should not influence Russia's expanded cooperation with the European Union," Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov told RIA Novosti.

    A referendum on the EU constitution will take place in the Netherlands today. On May 29 France voted against this document.

    According to Chizhov, "strategic partnership hinges on the existing legal base." It comprises EU documents, as well as Russia-EU documents.

    "Our bilateral cooperation is based on the 1994 partnership-and-cooperation agreement. Some of its aspects have already become outdated. We should think about renewing the contractual-legal base. However, this aspect does not directly depend on the approval of the EU constitution," the Russian diplomat added.

    "To the best of our knowledge, the EU, France, at least, is not ready to okay a common constitution," Chizhov noted. "France's possible approval of the draft constitution would not herald its prompt enactment," Chizhov added. In his words, only nine out of 25 EU countries have so far ratified the EU constitution.

    "The Netherlands is to hold the constitutional referendum June 1. Great Britain is to vote the EU constitution a year later. This is why much can change by that time," Chizhov stressed.

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