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Lawmaker says Russia and EU can’t afford to turn their backs on each other

April 22, 2015, 20:39 UTC+3
Alexey Pushkov added that he was pleased that European counterparts discussed issues of energy cooperation, human rights and interaction beyond the borders of Europe
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Alexey Pushkov

Alexey Pushkov

© Alexander Shalgin/Russian state Duma press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. A Russian politician said on Wednesday that Russia and the European Union simply can't afford to turn their backs on each other.

Alexey Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, told journalists: "Neither Russia, nor the European Union can afford to turn their backs on each other."

"It is impossible both because of our belonging to a common space and because of the common challenges we face that go far beyond the Ukraine crisis," the politician said after a closed-door meeting with EU ambassadors at the State Duma.

Pushkov added that he was pleased that European counterparts had focused not only on the latest developments in Ukraine but also discussed implementation of ceasefire agreements signed in Minsk, Belarus, in February, as well as issues of energy cooperation, observance of human rights "in a common space from Lisbon to Vladivostok" and interaction beyond the borders of Europe.

"We have come to the conclusion that relations between Russia and the European Union should not be limited exclusively to the European space," Pushkov said, adding that participants in the meeting had also paid close attention to the conflict in Syria, efforts to combat terrorism and Islamic State alongside issues of trade and economic cooperation.

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