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Russian envoy hopes common sense will prevail over EU sanctions policy

October 21, 2016, 17:57 UTC+3
The diplomat said that instead of making a strategic overview, the EU leaders "just exchanged bugaboo stories"
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EU council President Donald Tusk ahead of  European Summit in Brussels, Belgium

EU council President Donald Tusk ahead of European Summit in Brussels, Belgium

© EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ/POOL

BRUSSELS, October 21. /TASS/. European countries have failed to seriously discuss relations between the European Union and Russia at the latest summit in Brussels, Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday.

"The only brief phrase in the European Council’s documents that says that the European Union’s leaders have made a strategic overview of relations with Russia is not proved by the statements made after the meeting by European Council President Donals Tusk, European Parliament President Martin Schulz and the leader of a number of countries," he told Russian journalists.

He said that instead of making a strategic overview, the EU leaders "just exchanged bugaboo stories and various sorts of products of the hostile anti-Russian campaign which is, regrettably, still in place."

"I understand that various voices were raised and I am sure there was pluralism of opinions. Probably, that was why the final document was that brief," the Russian diplomat said.

'Common sense' must prevail 

Russia hopes that common sense will prevail over the EU sanctions policy with time: 

"I am an optimist who hopes that common sense and objectivity will gradually pave their way through the piles of anti-Russian propaganda."

The diplomat noted that the question of EU sectoral sanctions on Russia was not a topic for discussion at this EU summit. "At least we can judge that from statements made by the European Council members."

"It is not surprising. They have enough time before the end of January when the regular six-month term expires. Apparently, they are going to return to this theme. The European Council is going to meet again in December. Naturally, some events will take place at the EU Council, which will meet at the ministerial level and will formalize a number of decisions," he explained.

"I am not going to make any guesses. The stance of European Parliament President Martin Schulz is that there is no consensus neither in favor of tougher sanctions nor in favor of their lifting. That is why they (the sanctions) will remain in force. Let’s wait and see," Chizhov concluded.

Russia interested in EU’s positive attitude but crises affect relations

Russia is interested in a strong European Union that would have positive attitude towards Moscow: 

"It is regrettable to see that the Russian-EU relations have been held hostage to crises that have no direct connection to the parties. The Syrian conflict has joined the Ukrainian crisis now," the high-level Russian diplomat said commenting on the results of the EU summit held on October 20-21.

"I will specially mention President of the European Council Donald Tusk’s statement that surprised and upset me as he said that "Russia's strategy was to weaken the EU." But I can say with conviction that this is not true," the Russian ambassador noted.

"On the contrary, Russia has always emphasized that our strategy concerning the EU is aimed at fruitful and equitable cooperation, we want the EU to be strong, united and have a positive attitude towards our country. And I would like to add one more important thing in this regard: we want the EU to be more independent in its decision-making," the Russian ambassador said.

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