MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. The European Union’s dialogue with Russia has for years had an impermissible form, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday in the wake of an interview the chief of European diplomacy Josep Borrell granted to the daily Die Welt. In that interview Borrell dismissed Russia’s proposals for security guarantees as unacceptable and warned that negotiations on them could not be held without the European Union taking part.
"The form of Mr. Borrell’s claims against us and the mode in which Brussels expressed itself over many years was extremely strange and, in many cases, impermissible. Now it makes no sense to put forward any claims addressed to us. Nobody has the right to do so. As for the statements that the diplomatic service of which Mr. Borrel is in charge has been mass-producing, they contain demands formulated in a very peculiar way. For instance, ‘Russia must’ or ‘Russia is expected.’ As if we were members of the European Union or NATO and all of a sudden it has turned out that we did something wrong, or we had no right to present a draft for a joint discussion."
She said that Borrell’s speculations about the European Union’s hypothetical contribution to the discussion on security guarantees in Europe looked "very strange."
"The top European diplomat must have forgotten that for those EU member countries which are also NATO members - there are 21 of them - the alliance remains the basis of their collective defense and a platform for its implementation," Zakharova said. "In other words, the EU’s Brussels delegated to NATO’s Brussels the lion’s share of its military sovereignty."
The Russian Foreign Ministry official recalled that EU diplomats in recent years made quite a few ultimatum-like statements, without proposing any drafts or discussions on them, but merely stated their unilateral stance. For instance, the "five guiding principles" formulated by the EU’s former High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini for normalizing relations with Russia contained demands Moscow should enforce the implementation of the Minsk agreements, although it was Kiev that continued to ignored them, while Russia had nothing to do with them at all.
"Borrell made a very telling remark that ‘it is a winner's privilege to put forward non-negotiable written conditions to the opposite side’," Zakharova said. "One has an impression that the European Union has never tried to address Russia with arrogant ultimatums or dictate its views to Russia. Honestly, I am not sure, though, that the point at issue is a winner and a winner’s logic and actions, but it goes without saying that Brussels’ steps smack of arrogance. Just recall one episode from the previous era of cooperation, when Brussels insistently tried to put Russia in a subordinate position in all of its crisis management operations. For example, in May 2011 the EU handed Russia a draft of a corresponding framework agreement. In the meantime, our counterproposals for correcting it on an equitable basis were dismissed. The EU has not moved away from its uncompromising and unrealistic stance one iota," Zakharova recalled.
She pointed out that in his interview Borrel said he would like to discuss "all violations since the Helsinki Final Act was adopted in 1975." "As a far as we understand, the EU is prepared to discuss in detail of how in 1999 the North Atlantic Alliance, which is a defensive organization according to its Charter and with whom the EU is going to strengthen partnership further on, for 78 days was devastating Serbian land with cluster bombs and depleted uranium ammunition in violation of all norms of international law. Let me remind you, that this caused the death of 2,500 people, including 89 children. Do you wish to discuss that? You are welcome. We have brought up this issue on many occasions in public, not to mention the process of negotiations," Zakharova said.