MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s statement on the results of his visit to Moscow that was posted on his personal blog runs counter to what he said during a news conference on February 5, which makes one think that someone is dictating the European Union how to behave toward Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with TASS.
According to Zakharova, Borrell’s talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on February 5 were held in an atmosphere of trust followed by the sides' acknowledgement of both problems in the relations and ways of resolving them. The EU top diplomat congratulated Russian scientists on their achievements in terms of the efficacy and promotion of the Sputnik V anti-coronavirus vaccine, she recalled.
"Just one day later, when Mr. Borrell is back in his EU structures, we see a post in his blog that completely contradicts what he said in Moscow, a post about how bad everything was and that things would be still worse in the future. What can it mean? Where was the real Borrell: either in Moscow or when back in the EU structures? Notably, he was accompanied by a big delegation that elaborated a common approach to what he said after the talks with Lavrov. So, it is not about the European Union’s approaches. It means that someone is dictating the European Union how to behave toward Russia," she said.
She drew attention to the fact that in his blog Borrell described his news conference after talks with Lavrov as "aggressively staged." "How can it be interpreted? As aggressively organized? As a matter of fact, one of the meanings of the word ‘staged’ is ‘deliberately arranged for effect.’ How can it go with a news conference? The more so aggressively arranged. It was a classical news conference held weekly after Lavrov’s talks with colleagues," she noted, adding that the event included Western journalists the EU mission in Moscow had asked to accredit.
"Who Borrell thinks could ‘aggressively stage’ it? Not us for sure. <…> Journalists asked what they wanted - questions they found necessary. And Borrell said what he thought necessary to say, being aware, as we believed, of his words and doing it sincerely," Zakharova added.