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Envoy says no talk about severing ties with EU at Russia’s own initiative

Vladimir Chizhov could not rule out that Russia would respond asymmetrically to any potential EU restrictions
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov Ruslan Shamukov/TASS
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov
© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. Russia has no plans to initiate steps to cut ties with the European Union, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said in a televised interview with Rossiya-24 news channel on Wednesday.

"Everything that has been, regrettably, frozen in our relations with the EU until now is the result of the steps by our valiant EU counterparts and those who support them from all the sides," Chizhov said. "Therefore, there has never been any talk that Russia would sever ties with the European Union on its own initiative."

The diplomat could not rule out that Russia would respond asymmetrically to any potential EU restrictions.

"In case of further destructive steps from the European Union, Russia will not let grass grow under its feet, but will find corresponding ways and means to influence the situation. We can call it an asymmetric response, but those steps definitely won’t go without consequences," he said.

Chizhov explained that the EU foreign ministers "tread on thin ice, trying to find a way out based on several factors," while deciding on new restrictions.

"Namely, so as not to affect the interests of the EU countries themselves, including the Nord Stream 2 project, so as to look convincing to the excited liberal public, including to those in the European Parliament, and finally, so as not to harm the emerging ‘romantic’ relationship with the new US administration. I think the decisions are unlikely to be particularly impressive in content," Chizhov said.

The Russian ambassador pointed out that those decisions "do not make things better."

"It is still another missed opportunity to normalize our relations. It continues the inertial downward trend, which we will have to take into consideration and respond to in kind," he noted.