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Borrell’s visit to Russia is planned and won’t be just about human rights — diplomat

The sides are expected to discuss a whole range of issues and prospects of Russia-EU relations

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. The visit of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell to Russia is a planned one and will not be centered exclusively around the human rights issue, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

"Mr. Borrell’s visit is a planned one. The way the information is being trotted out now that this visit and these talks will allegedly be only about human rights is not true, of course," she said.

Zakharova added that the sides intend to look into all current problems. "A whole range of issues will be discussed. There are a lot of problems; this topic [of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny] will also be on the agenda," she underlined.

The diplomat recalled that the Russian Foreign Ministry compiled materials dedicated to police actions at protests in Europe. "We sent this compilation of materials about how detentions are carried out and peaceful protests are broken up, how the police act in EU countries to Mr. Borrell so that he and his delegation could have a chance to answer many questions themselves before posing them to us," she said.

The talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell will be held on February 5. The sides are expected to discuss a whole range of issues and prospects of Russia-EU relations. The chief diplomats will exchange opinions on current issues of the international agenda, including the situation in the Western Balkans, the Middle East, North Africa and the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) space. Lavrov and Borrell will also hash over implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal, the developments in Nagorno-Karabakh and security issues in Europe.