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MOSCOW, February 13, 4:17 /ITAR-TASS/. Closer relations between Russia and the European Union might help solve protracted security problems, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov wrote in his article published in Thursday’s issue of the Kommersant daily.
“It is high time decisions taken by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Russia-NATO Council on the creation of a common space of peace, security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region be translated into deed,” he emphasized. “This is the only way to guarantee that a train of short-sighted, irresponsible actions would not trigger a crisis “hole” in the European politics, like it was in August 2008.”
In his words, he was confident that the potential of partnership between Russia and the European Union was enormous. “Our countries, which occupy an area of more than 21 million square kilometers, are home to about 650 million people. We are united by out mutually complementary and interdependent economies and common cultural roots,” the Russian minister noted.
“Russia satisfied a third of the European Union’s oil and gas demand, and about a fourth of its demand in coal and petrochemicals. The European Union simple has no other such partner that can ensure stable supplies in required volumes,” he wrote.
“The current lack of understanding is rooted in the deficit of strategic trust,” he noted. “A principally new, higher level of partnership can be reached only on the basis of equality, mutual respect and mutual consideration of interests. But the European Union still has a tendency of building its relations with neighbours solely on the basis of bringing these countries to the European Union standards and making them follow Brussels’ policy.”
“Russia is not seeking the European Union membership,” he stressed. “Our European Union partners must take due account of the fact that a large-scale integration project is being realized in the Eurasian space and this project initially targeted possible harmonization with integration processes within the European Union, as a link between Europe and the Asia Pacific region.