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ROME, May 27. /TASS/. The European Union is ready to develop relations with Russia on the basis of the current political realities but will never go against its basic principles, Nathalie Tocci, a special adviser to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and deputy director of the Rome-based Institute of International Affairs, told TASS on Friday.
"One cannot but recognize the fact that the European Union and Russia are interdependent. We are neighbors and are inter-dependent from the economic, energy and other points of view. And our relations should be built in a way to avoid any growth of tensions. We, on our part, are trying to prevent the return of the Cold War. So, our task is to build relations in a constructive manner, despite differences, even the most profound ones," she said.
According to Tocci, the European Union’s relations with Russia are based on the principle of selective dialogue and selective cooperation. "There is a number of issues that are already discussed by the European Union and Russia: from the problem of terrorism and migration to energy and Arctic development, as well as innovation, infrastructure development, up to visa liberalization - all of these are issues of mutual interest," she said. "On our part, we clearly word the topics we, the Europeans, are interested to have a dialogue on. Now it is important that Russia also demonstrate what it is interested in in its relations with the European Union. If we happen to have common points, they can well serve as a basis for selective cooperation."
At the same time, she stressed that the European Union has a number of unchallenged principles that cannot be bargained. "Among such principles is respect to sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. The European Union will not be able to build comprehensive relations with Russia until international law is strictly observed," she added.