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Putin: There are no irresolvable problems in Russia-EU relations

May 26, 2016, 8:56 UTC+3

The Russian president has called to "give up the vicious logic of one-sided games and to take account of one another's opinions and interests"

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Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, May 26. /ТАСС/. Russia speaks for a dialogue in the spirit of partnership with the EU on a broad spectrum of problems from easing visa issuance regulations to energy but it is does not see any signs of mutual readiness from the opposite side, Vladimir Putin said in an article published on Thursday by the Greek daily Kathimerini. The newspaper published it ahead of Putin's visit to Greece.

"We think there are no irresolvable problems in our relations with the EU," he wrote. "To get back to the track of multidimensional partnership, it is important to give up the vicious logic of one-sided games and to take account of one another's opinions and interests."

He said Russia spoke in favor of building equitable and truly partner-like dialogue with the EU "on a broadest possible spectrum of issues from easing the issuance of travel visas to setting up an energy alliance, but so far we have not seen any readiness to meet us halfway."

Putin called attention to the impediments that the slump in Russian-EU relations put up for a further consolidation of Russian-Greek cooperation.

"It affects badly the dynamics of bilateral trade that has reduced by a third versus last year to $2.75 billion," he wrote. "Greek agricultural producers have been affected particularly badly."

Economic, humanitarian partnership zone from the Atlantic to the Pacific

Vladimir Putin has also stressed the importance of setting up a zone of economic and humanitarian cooperation from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

"Russia and Europe have now come up to a parting of the ways when it is necessary to answer the question: how do we see the future of our relations, what is the direction we want to move in?" the Russian leader said.

"I am confident that due conclusions must be drawn from the events in Ukraine and work must be started to create a zone of economic and humanitarian cooperation based on the architecture of equal and indivisible security on a vast space from the Atlantic to the Pacific," Putin said.

Putin said harmonization of European and Eurasian integration processes was designed to be a major step towards that. According to the president, this work is all the more necessary now that Europe is facing growing competition from other centers of influence in the modern world.

As an example he cited the recent commemorative summit of Russia and ASEAN in Sochi, where leaders constructively discussed topical international issues, prospects for integration projects and deepening of cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. "It is clear that securing a rightful place for the Old Continent in new international realities is possible only through joining potentials of all European countries, including Russia," Putin said.

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