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Russia's top diplomat blames EU 'aggressive minority' for frozen relations

April 09, 2015, 15:58 UTC+3
An aggressive minority in the EU tries to speculate on the so-called principle of solidarity, seeking to ensure solidarity based on the greatest anti-Russian denominator, Sergey Lavrov noted
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Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov

© Mikhail Klimentiyev/Russian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. Russia sent word to the European Union on Thursday that responsibility did not lie with Moscow for resetting relations with Brussels "leading them out of the deadlock caused by their unilateral sanctions policy".

"We know most EU countries are not happy with the present situation," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"Unfortunately, an aggressive minority there tries to speculate on the so-called principle of solidarity, seeking to ensure solidarity based on the greatest anti-Russian denominator," he said after talks with Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders.

"We did not initiate the severance of relations," the diplomat said. "We will be ready to restore them as soon as our European partners feel ready."

After imposing sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, "Brussels cut off contacts which had been structured for many years, helping to maintain regular trust-based dialogue and raising and resolving emerging issues in time," Lavrov said.

"Brussels refused to hold summits," he added, noting that "long before Ukraine, Brussels had refrained from holding meetings of the [EU-Russia] Permanent Partnership Council, aimed at discussing a whole range of relations between Russia and the European Union.

"Brussels has frozen all sectoral dialogue," he said, observing that European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, visiting Moscow in January, had put forward the idea of resuming at least energy dialogue between Russia and the EU.

"We have voiced agreement," Lavrov said. "But no further action has been taken. We await practical steps."

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