The European Union could resume in November talks on a new cooperation pact with Russia, temporarily put on hold last month over Russia''s military operation in Georgia, the French foreign minister has said.

The 27-nation bloc announced on September 1 that it had suspended talks on the partnership and cooperation agreement with Russia over Moscow''s presence in Georgia and would not resume the negotiation process until the country pulled all its troops in Georgia back to their pre-conflict positions.

Although Moscow completed its troop pullout from a buffer zone in Georgia earlier this month, questions remain over the scale of its presence in South Ossetia. Furthermore, some EU member-states said they wanted to see progress in talks on the future of South Ossetia and Abkhazia - recognized by Russia as independent states - before discussing relations with Moscow.

The issue of the disputed Georgian republics will be discussed at the international talks in Geneva on November 18. The first round of international talks on the Georgian conflict in Geneva earlier this month was suspended until November, due to concerns over the status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, recognized by Russia as independent states.

Bernard Kouchner said in an interview with the Kommersant business daily that restoring ties between Russia and the EU was not a "two-day issue," although he added that the talks on the long overdue strategic cooperation agreement could still resume at a Russia-EU summit in Nice scheduled for November 14.

Kouchner added that Moscow had on the whole complied with all the international commitments under the French-brokered peace plan to end the conflict in Georgia, although "a few disputable points remain."

The first round of talks on a new wide-ranging deal between Russia and the EU was held in July. The agreement is set to replace the 1997 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which was extended for a year when it expired in December 2007. The talks were delayed over disputes between Russia and EU members Poland and Lithuania. The second round of talks was due to take place on September 16.