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BRUSSELS, April 18. /TASS/. Moscow hopes EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will have a detailed conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during her visit to Russia scheduled for April 24, Russia’s envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told reporters.
"Russia and the EU were and remain major trade and economic partners, but our political dialogue, given the well-known events some two or three years ago - was in fact limited to episodic contacts at the level of experts and political directors," Chizhov said.
The diplomat recalled that Lavrov and Mogherini met on the sidelines of some international events but these were not detailed discussions. "We expect to have that kind of dialogue in Moscow on April 24," the high-ranking diplomat said in the run-up to the EU foreign policy chief’s visit.
"We expect that the visit will encompass a whole array of bilateral relations and topical international issues, including Syria," he said.
Mogherini and Lavrov will discuss "the most pressing foreign policy issues, in particular the conflict in Syria," according to the European External Action Service. "They will also discuss the situation in Libya, the Middle East peace process, Iran, Afghanistan and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations." The EU foreign policy chief will travel to Russia as part of her trip on April 18-24, during which she will also visit China and India.
The Ukrainian crisis could be one of the issues discussed by Russia and the European Union during Federica Mogherini's visit to Moscow:
"The European Union as such is involved in the Ukrainian affairs from a rather strange angle - only through sanctions. However, everything that concerns the settlement in Ukraine was delegated by the European Union to its two members who are part of the ‘Normandy format,’ - Germany and France," the Russian diplomat.
According to Chizhov, at the EU meetings at various levels, "as a rule, they usually hear information from these two countries on what is done in the ‘Normandy format."
"The conclusions are drawn, which to date have promoted neither our relations nor the settlement in Ukraine," he added.