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Russia calls on EU to revise bilateral ties — Lavrov

June 16, 15:14 UTC+3
According to Lavrov, the EU's selective approach to dialogue with Russia will no longer work
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© EPA/CHRISTOPHE KARABA

ST.PETERSBURG, June 16. /TASS/. Moscow offers the European Union to jointly revise bilateral relations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Valdai club session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday.

"We took ‘inventory’ of relations with the EU and put this on paper, the document was extensive," Lavrov said. "We hope to hand it over to our colleagues and suggest carrying out such ‘inventory’ together."

Lavrov stressed that Russia’s dialogue with the EU has never been interrupted. "We hope that after putting on paper the facts, the state of affairs as we see them and as the EU sees them, it will be clear and this will help us to begin a business-like conversation casting aside all geopolitical talk and the rhetoric of state-mongers."

Selective approach to dialogue with Russia

The EU's selective approach to dialogue with Russia will no longer work, Lavrov added. 

"The authoritative audience that gathered here is interested in finding ways of mending relations that currently exist between Russia and the West," the minister said. "We have never sought confrontation speaking out in favor of equal and mutually beneficial dialogue."

"As for the European Union, we were open to broad strategic partnership," he went on to say. "Now we hear statements from Brussels that Russia is not a strategic partner, even though it remains a strategic state."

"This juggling with words is well-known to us," Lavrov noted. "It is a cover-up of the EU’s inability and unwillingness at this stage to realize what is happening in reality."

Commenting on the so-called five principles of EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini regarding the Russian-EU relations, the minister noted that "they give us no answer on what should be done."

"These principles just register the EU’s approach, which is to limit relations with us to the greatest possible extent in some areas, including the energy sector, and invite us to cooperation there where it plays into the EU’s hands. It is clear that such selective approach will not work," Lavrov said, adding that business as usual is ruled out.

Russia-EU energy cooperation

According to the minister, the EU's approach on curbing cooperation in the energy sphere with Russia is generated from overseas.

"The doctrine documents in the energy sphere adopted by the European Union are aimed at reducing dependence on Russia," Lavrov said. "And we understand that here, most of such attitude on curbing cooperation with Russia is generated from overseas. Americans have their own economic interests," he added.

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