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BRUSSELS, May 19. /TASS/. Relations between Russia and the European Union are "in a sad state," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday, expressing, however, cautious optimism over certain progress seen over the recent time.
"I met with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland as well as with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to discuss with her the Ukrainian crisis and a sad state of affairs in relations between Russia and the EU for the reason of Brussel’s blocking almost all channels and mechanisms of cooperation," the foreign minister said.
He marked, however, "certain progress", saying "our colleagues have supported continuation of the conversation started yesterday by the trio of Russian, EU and Ukrainian ministers on economic cooperation between Kiev, Brussels and Moscow, and the Eurasian Economic Union in broader terms".
These talks yesterday ended optimistically on the whole," Lavrov said after a session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Tuesday.
"I expect that an arrangement to continue them will yield the result that will make it possible to harmonize participation of the Ukrainian state in integration processes in the west and east of Europe," he added.