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Russia does not agree to be treated as junior partner in relations with EU — diplomat

March 16, 2015, 11:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The situation in Ukraine has become a catalyst for disagreements between Russia and EU that have been accumulating for years, says Russia's ambassador to the EU

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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Burlakov

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Russia does not want to return to former mode of relations with EU, when Moscow was treated as a junior partner, Russian Ambassador to EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Monday at a State Duma hearing on Russian-EU relations.

"The situation in Ukraine has become a catalyst for disagreements between Russia and EU that have been accumulating for years," the ambassador said.

"The cause of the crisis in Russian-EU relations is that Brussels has refused to start treating Russia as an equal partner. Instead, the EU treated Moscow as a junior partner that they need to educate and admonish. However, such a mode [of relations] will not work with us - not today, not tomorrow, never. We do not need such ‘business as usual’," Chizhov said.

The diplomat noted that Washington’s influence on Brussels’ sanctions raises questions about independence of EU’s policy.

"EU’s sanctions policy is shaped, at the very least, not without US influence - US Vice-President Joseph Biden was already quoted - and by active efforts of a well-known group of EU member-countries, which try to impose their position on everyone else. This raises serious questions about European Union’s consistency as an independent player in the modern world and, respectively, as a reliable strategic partner," Chizhov said.

Meshkov said Moscow is urging Brussels to stop fanning tensions and to refrain from yielding to time-serving consideration.

"I am certain that time is ripe for cutting the spiral of fanning tensions. We should give thought to the future, and not be guided by short-term time-serving considerations. We must take care of our own interests that we and our partners have in Europe," he said. "There is no alternative to restoring full-fledged cooperation. The European Union remains a key trading and economic partner for us. We share common borders. There will be no way of escaping from each other."

The senior diplomat said Moscow stands for for further mutually beneficial business cooperation with the EU, which has a considerable potential.

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