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ROME, May 27. /TASS/. The European Union has ignored signals of Moscow’s new strategic goals and hence it shares part of responsibility for the current strains in its relations with Russia, 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.
She admitted that a crisis in relations between Russia and the European Union had been impending well before the Ukrainian developments. "Suffice it to recollect [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s notorious speech at the Munich conference. The European Union’s mistake was in ignoring these signals, in overlooking these new aspects, in missing the warnings. And the Ukrainian developments took us by surprise," she said.
She said she doesn’t think the chill in relations between the European Union and Russia stemmed from the European Union’s internal weakness. The reason, in her words, was Russia’s "discontent," as "it developed big self-confidence having recovered from a shock of the end of the Cold War."
In his speech at the Munich security conference on February 10, 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin dwelled on Russia’s role and place in the present-day world with due account of the new challenges and threats and denounced the unipolar nature of the modern global politics.