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Lavrov points to seven years of lost opportunities in Russia-EU relations

Sergey Lavrov stressed that the current state of affairs had gone too far and nobody would manage to reverse it overnight

MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned that degradation in Russia-EU relations is getting chronic.

"Degradation is getting chronic. The past seven years of Russia-EU relations were years of lost opportunities," Lavrov said at a meeting with members of the Association of European Businesses in Russia on Friday.

The sole constructive proposal made in recent months - the initiative put forward by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron for an urgent Russia-EU summit "lost its way and was buried in the thicket of an absurd logic," he remarked.

"Some EU members decided that such a summit would be a gift to Russia. We do not need gifts, we do not expect them from anybody, and we keep working not for the sake of getting any," he said.

Lavrov stressed that the current state of affairs had gone too far and nobody would manage to reverse it overnight.

"Trust has been damaged too seriously as a result of a series of unilateral measures by Brussels. But we believe it is important not to aggravate this state of affairs, which we regard as very serious, and at least to refrain from introducing to our relations more annoyances and negative factors, which would merely maintain and build up the negative inertia of recent years," he said.

"Ideally, we would like to achieve points of agreement there where our interests coincide. Business cooperation, business projects, mutual investment and trade are the obvious spheres where such opportunities do exist. The more so, since despite all the sanctions that our counterparts in Brussels keep building up we remain near neighbors. Also, we remain each other's very important economic partners," he added.

In this connection, Lavrov said that despite a certain pandemic-induced decline in trading relations trade turnover in January-July 2021 exceeded $150 billion, showing a 40%-growth against the same period last year.