“I would not want to see us being compelled into gradually shutting the European direction of our co-operation with foreign partners as it has already been said that we are going to the Asia-Pacific region not instead of but in addition to the course aimed to deepen economic, trade, humanitarian and technological partnership with the EU,” the minister said at his annual meeting with future diplomats.
Lavrov blamed the EU for undermining major directions of cooperation with Russia for the sake of defining their position, which he dubbed as “rather disputable as it is based on reckless support for the Kiev authorities”.
“I hope the EU is becoming increasingly aware that this policy is a deadlock, and that common sense will prevail,” Lavrov told students and professors of Moscow State Diplomatic University (MGIMO).Russia's Asia-Pacific focus found resonance last week in comments from the president of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sergei Katyrin.
“A change in the vector of trade and economic co-operation between Russia and the West looks quite natural in the existing international situation,” he said.
This was not a new process but the crisis in Ukraine had given a boost to Russia’s relations with countries of the Asia Pacific region and the BRICS group of nations, he added, referring to the assembly of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.