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Lavrov: Eastern Partnership should not damage Russia’s interests

May 19, 2015, 14:55 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Russia believes Eastern Partnership relations should take into consideration integration processes in the east of Europe, and be aimed at harmonization of these processes and not their contraposition
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

BRUSSELS, May 19./TASS/. Relations between European Union member countries and countries seeking to deepen relations with them should not develop the way that could damage Russia’s interests, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after a session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

"We cannot impose any decisions on the EU and its partners," he said ahead of an Eastern Partnership summit due in Riga on May 21-22.

"There is just one thing we want, and our colleagues in Brussels have known this for a long time - to see that the process under way between the European Union and the countries willing to deepen economic, humanitarian and other relations with the EU doesn’t damage the legitimate interests of the Russian Federation," he said.

Russia believes these relations should take into consideration integration processes in the east of Europe, and be aimed at harmonization of these processes and not their contraposition, he said.

"Attempts to present the situation as ‘either-or’, as a game with a zero result lead to rather undesirable, unfavourable results," the foreign minister said.

"Our European partners are well aware of this. They have pledged, including [EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy] Federica Mogherini who did this at talks with me yesterday, that the Eastern Partnership will not develop to the detriment of Russia’s interests," Lavrov said.

"The words are correct and we would like to see them substantiated with concrete deeds," he said. "Let us look and see whether this will happen at the Riga summit," Lavrov added.

The Eastern European partners of the EU are the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

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