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Russia does not support EU protectionist restrictions — Lavrov

The minister stressed that the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic should contribute to joint efforts in solving common problems

MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. Moscow opposes protectionist restrictive measures by the European Union in relation to other countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with members of the Association of European Businesses in Russia.

"They [the EU] use restrictive measures more and more often. We hear, and no one is hiding it, that new protectionist instruments are being prepared. We are convinced that this is the wrong approach," he said.

"We should jointly look for points of growth, which would help our economies to return to sustainable development after COVID-19. We are for pragmatic cooperation, taking into account the real needs that arise from the tasks of the socio-economic development of Russia and, of course, from the tasks of further development of European countries, whose businesses are represented at this meeting," he said.

The minister stressed that the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic should contribute to joint efforts in solving common problems. On the contrary, some politicians are using this period to "toughen the EU's approaches to relations with third countries both in trade, in the economy, and in various sectoral areas," he said.

Nevertheless, Russia and the EU remain important economic partners and their cooperation needs to be strengthened, Lavrov noted.

"There are some advancements we all want to keep, of course. To do this it is important not only to maintain contacts and look for joint projects but also to avoid the creation of additional barriers, to avoid politicizing trade and investments ties, and to avoid using methods of unfair competition," he concluded.