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Russian diplomat says EU’s priority is to restore relations with Moscow

June 30, 2016, 10:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Foreign Ministry says the SPIEF was devoted to searching for the ways of resuming the cooperation

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Russia’s Foreign Ministry official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russia’s Foreign Ministry official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. The problem of restoring relations between Russia and the European Union is priority for Brussels, Russia’s Foreign Ministry official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Thursday.

In particular, the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum held on June 16-18 was devoted to searching for the ways of resuming the full-fledged cooperation of Russia and the EU, Zakharova reminded.

"The question came mainly from the Europeans who have already fully perceived the outcome and result of policy towards Russia that they have been carrying out over the past several years. Of course, the issue of resuming ties is priority for them," she said.

Of late, Russia’s diplomatic service has seen a radical change in positions of European journalists towards Moscow. This shows that Europe begins listening to Russia, the diplomat said.

"I remember the questions of European journalists and correspondents a year or two years ago - these were not just harsh questions, they were aggressive, this was an uncovered anger and an attack. Now the fog has dispersed and the attitude has changed: Russia is not attacked, it is questioned… This is a radical change," she stressed.

In July 2014, the European Union and the US imposed sanctions against Russia over developments in Ukraine and have repeatedly extended and expanded them. The EU suspended talks on the visa-free regime and a new basic cooperation agreement, imposed a ban on blacklisted Russian officials on their entry into the European Union and froze their assets, and also introduced other restrictions in the trade, financial and military areas. Overall, the EU blacklisted 151 individuals and 37 entities. The EU’s sectoral sanctions were imposed against 20 Russian financial, oil producing and defense structures.

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