MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The West is cultivating rumours about Russian president’s health problems and the decline of the Russian economy to spur up sanctions, Russian Permanent Representative at the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Monday.
"Overseas partners keep on reminding Europe and enthusiastically picturing apocalyptic scenarios of a complete collapse of the Russian economy to happen very soon, of the ruble collapse," he told the Rossiya 24 television channel. "And they keep on calling not to lag behind Washington in building up the sanction regime."
The European Union has no long-term strategy concerning anti-Russian sanctions and it cannot have any due to objective reasons, Vladimir Chizhov admitted.
"The European Union has failed to anticipate its own losses and it couldn’t do it anyway," he told the Rossiya 24 television channel. "It failed to anticipate the position of all its member countries but such decisions in the European Union are taken by consensus. Now a number of European Union countries are critical about the idea of sanctions against Russia."
Much has changed in relations between Russia and the European Union, and first of all, the mere term "strategic partnership," Chizhov went on to say.
He noted that "strategic partnership" between Russia and the European Union has proved not to be strategic enough to survive the crisis in relations over Ukrainian developments. "Despite the very significant implications of the term ‘strategic partnership’ that was used to describe our relations with the European Union, its essence was not enough to survive the crisis," he said. "It would be wrong to say that the situation in Ukraine was the only reason for the crisis in relations between Russia and the European Union. Problems have been piling up and we saw it."
"The dialogue on visa abolishment was faltering, we were failing to coordinate efforts in the sphere of common security policy. There were problems in the trade and economic sphere, including within the World Trade Organization (WTO)," the Russian diplomat noted. "I think the primary reason was the European Union’s inclination, along with the United States and often after the United States, to consider Russia as a junior partner."