Breaking: Russia-EU ties torn to shreds by bias: FM Lavrov
Russia says the European Union has hampered normal relations with Moscow through “bias” in a way that Russia is now “perceived as stranger” in the eyes of the West.
“The bias [hinders the relations], by and large,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “As former US President [Barack] Obama once said (though about the Russian economy), relations have been torn to shreds.”
Many of the mechanisms of interaction between Moscow and Brussels have brought down, according to Lavrov.
In a visit to Moscow this month, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell acknowledged that relations between Brussels and Moscow have fallen to “a low point” lately.
The Russian diplomat further said that Moscow maintains normal bilateral dialogue with EU nations outside the frames of the bloc discipline.
“Beyond the frames of this discipline, this ‘bloc solidarity,’ we have a normal conversation,” he said.
“Many countries maintain relations with Russia. Borrell’s visit was the first one at such a level in the past three years,” Lavrov said.
“Over this time, a couple of dozens of foreign ministers from the European Union member nations have visited Russia. We maintain a good dialogue,” he added.
Lavrov also criticized EU sanctions against Russia as a way for Brussels “to bolster their self-esteem.”
“Now they begin to act in the same way as the US, including displaying the mentality of the exceptional cohort of states,” said the Russian diplomat.
Lavrov echoed remarks made by President Vladimir Putin last week about the West’s strategy to “contain” Russia.
Putin said that Russia’s “numerous successes” on a military level as well as its management of the coronavirus pandemic and the development of the Sputnik V vaccine were “starting to irritate” Moscow’s adversaries.
“We have had a lot of success, and it annoys them,” the president said in an interview with the Russian media, that was broadcast on a public television on Sunday.
“That’s where the containment policy, including in the economy, comes from,” he said. “The stronger we become, the stronger this containment policy.”
The EU has repeatedly threatened to impose sanctions on Russia over the imprisonment of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny case.
In response to the threats, Lavrov has labeled Brussels as “an unreliable partner,” saying the Kremlin is “getting used to the fact that the European Union is trying to impose unilateral restrictions, illegitimate restrictions.”