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Lavrov calls on EU to stop imposing ‘Europe-or-Russia’ ultimatum on post-Soviet republics

April 08, 2018, 21:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Minister said that Moscow is optimistic about future relations between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Alexander Scherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on the European Union to stop imposing a choice between Europe and Russia on former Soviet republics.

"It is inadmissible to put the countries of the post-Soviet space before a false choice - either with the West or with Russia," he said in an interview with Armenian media.

"It is an absolutely ideology-driven, politicized approach," he stressed.

"On its own example, Armenia demonstrates that it is not senseless to develop relations with all," Lavrov said. "On the contrary, it is a winning policy which is beneficial for the country that pursues it."

He hailed Armenia’s position in its relations with the European Union insisting on recognition of its rights and liabilities in other integration processes. "Naturally, to ensure that the rights of neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan nor other members of the EU Eastern Partnership program are not infringed upon, that their interests are not prejudiced, it is very important that European Union drops its vile either-or logic which already triggered Ukrainian development in 2014," the Russian top diplomat noted. "It is like stealing a possibility of developing comprehensive all-round cooperation with all neighbors from a nation".

Cooperation between EU and EAEU

Moscow is optimistic about future relations between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) as Brussels will ultimately have to work with this organization, Lavrov said.

According to the Russian top diplomat, the EAEU invited the European community for cooperation as far back as three years ago, but the European Union refused to accept the Eurasian Economic Union as an equal partner "due to absolutely ideology-driven politicized reasons."

"This bias stays in place to a certain extent up till now," he said. "But now realistic people are coming to Brussels."

"Experts from the European Economic Committee, the EU External Action Service have had contacts with experts from the Eurasian Economic Commission," the Russian minister noted.

"Now, interest is growing to make these expert contacts regular and as step one to orient them towards agreeing regulatory matters. I think it will be step one as the very life will make our European partners work with the European Economic Union, with the Eurasian Economic Commission Board, which, by the way, is headed by an Armenian citizens at the current stage, like the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization)."

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