MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. For successful development of relations between Russia and the European Union (EU), Brussels should realise it is to common interests that Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are politically and economically stable and their off-bloc status is legally binding, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told the State Duma (parliament) on Monday.
"Of crucial importance in development of relations between Russia and the EU will be future of countries of ‘common neighbourhood’," he said. "A lot will depend on whether we shall manage to persuade our counterparts in EU that in our common interests is to have not confrontation, but close cooperation in making Ukraine as well as Moldova and Georgia, booming, politically stable friendly countries, which enjoy all benefits of the legally binding off-bloc status."
"We should stop ignoring common interests, political, cultural, economic specifics of those countries," he continued. "Our common task is to favour implementation of their potential as natural liaisons between different parts of this continent in contrast to - as seen clearly in Ukraine - scenario of making in Europe dividing lines and cordon sanitaire."
"Implementation of this task will demonstrate how the European counterparts adhere to restoration of - if not strategic, then at least trustworthy and productive partnership with this country," he said.