MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. Russia and Europe should go back to a positive agenda and ramp up trade and economic cooperation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday at the Davos Agenda Week via a videoconference.
"The current situation is clearly not normal, we should return to a positive agenda, it is in best interests of Russia and, I am sure, the European countries," he noted. "It is obvious that the pandemic also played its negative part, our trade turnover with the EU has dropped, even though it is one of our key trade and economic partners. However, the issue of going back to positive trends and ramping up trade and economic cooperation takes center stage here."
Putin pointed out that European and Russian partnership is perfectly natural from the economic viewpoint. "[The partnership is perfectly natural] from the point of view of science and technology and of spatial development of European culture. I mean that Russia, being a country with European culture, is still a little bigger than the united Europe in territory," he added.
The leader stressed that Russia and Europe have fundamentally common features that make a common culture. "The biggest statesmen of Europe of the recent past spoke about the need to develop relations between Europe and Russia, pointing to the fact that Russia is a part of Europe both geographically and mainly culturally. Essentially, it is one civilization. French leaders spoke about the need to create unified space from Lisbon to the Urals. As for me, and I said this already, it should stretch to Vladivostok, why to the Urals only. I personally heard prominent European statesman Helmut Kohl [German chancellor between 1982 and 1998 - TASS] say that if European culture wants to survive and remain one of the centers of global civilization in the future amid all problems and trends of development of the global civilization, Western Europe and Russia should, of course, stay together," Putin underlined. "It is hard to disagree with this, we share the very same point of view and stance."
Breaking away from phobias
The Russian leader emphasized that the dialogue between Russia and Europe requires honesty and getting rid of phobias and problems of the past to reach a positive stage of relations. "Russia has colossal resources and colossal human potential. <…> Only one thing is important here, we should approach the dialogue between us fairly. We need to break away from phobias of the past. We need to break away in our domestic political processes from all the problems we inherited from past centuries and look to the future. If we can rise above all these problems of the past and get rid of all phobias, we will definitely achieve a positive stage of our relations. We are ready for it, we want this, and we will seek it," Putin underlined.
"However, love is impossible if it is declared by one side only. It should be mutual," the Russian president concluded.