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Moscow hopes "point of no return" not passed in relations with EU — Lavrov

November 18, 2014, 9:23 UTC+3
Russia is interested in a progressive development of cooperation on an equal and mutually beneficial basis, the country's Foreign Minister says
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Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Moscow hopes that the “point of no return” in the relations between Russia and the European Union has not yet been passed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

Lavrov said “the EU line towards the Ukrainian crisis, including “the application of ‘double standards,’” as well as attempts to shift the responsibility on others and to use sanctions pressure — all this undermines trust and stability on the continent.

“We hope that the "point of no return" has not yet been passed,” Lavrov said at a joint session of collegiums of Russian and Belarusian foreign ministries.

Lavrov stressed that Russia considers the EU as its major important partner. “We are interested in a progressive development of cooperation on an equal and mutually beneficial basis,” he said.

Relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated amid the Ukrainian crisis, as the US and the EU imposed economic sanctions against Russia, and Moscow responded with a ban on food imports from countries that sanctioned it.

The West accuses Russia of aiding militias in eastern Ukraine, while Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims condemning Kiev’s operation as war against Ukraine’s own people.

On Western sanctions

Russia has no plans to implore the West to lift its unilateral sanctions imposed on Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister said.

“Russia is not going to beg the West to lift unilateral sanctions,” the Russian minister said. “Sanctions are not our choice,” he stressed.

Moscow sometimes receives particular proposals: “let’s agree on certain criteria and we will tell you what you need to do, and then we will lift sanctions,” Lavrov said.

“We will not be playing such games,” the diplomat said.

Meanwhile, Lavrov said the West has started speaking on the need to revise the restrictive measures.

Relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated amid the Ukrainian crisis, as the US and the EU imposed economic sanctions against Russia, and Moscow responded with a ban on food imports from countries that sanctioned it.

The West accuses Russia of aiding militias in eastern Ukraine, while Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims condemning Kiev’s operation as war against Ukraine’s own people.

Russian presidential advisor Sergey Glazyev said last week the European Union member states could lose up to 1 trillion euros ($1.2 trillion) if Brussels continues pursuing the sanctions policy against Russia.

Russia’s EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov told TASS last week that the sanctions are ineffective and far-fetched and the 28-member bloc has nearly exhausted its sanctions potential.

On Kiev's position

Moscow hopes that the West understands the danger of Kiev’s plans to resume special operation in eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister said.

Sergey Lavrov stressed that the Ukrainian crisis results from an armed anti-constitutional coup in late February after which the country found itself on the brink of a split and plunged into a kith-on-kin war.

“We urge to launch an all-encompassing and inter-Ukrainian dialogue involving all the regions,” Lavrov said at a joint meeting of the collegiums of the Russian and Belarusian foreign ministries.

The Russian top diplomat said however that “instead of establishing stable contacts with those who do not accept the results of the armed coup, Kiev has taken a course for socio-economic stifling of Ukraine’s southeast and is threatening to resume the effort to solve the conflict by force.”

“I hope that our Western colleagues who have influence on the Kiev authorities, understand the danger of such a development of the events,” the minister said.

According to the UN, over 4,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraine’s war-torn southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway territories.

 

Moscow urges Kiev to support Minsk peace process

Russia is calling on the Kiev authorities to show support towards the Minsk peace process, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

“What we hear from Ukraine and the leaders of the southeast, as well as the United States and the European Union, if all this is true, then everyone backs the Minsk process,” Lavrov said.

“Today the representatives of the southeast have confirmed this. We hope that Kiev will also show this,” he added.

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