BAKU, June 24. /TASS/. The European Union and NATO are building a coalition against Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with Azerbaijani top diplomat Jeyhun Bayramov in Baku on Friday. However, in Lavrov’s words, Russia doesn’t see any risks in Ukraine and Moldova getting EU candidate status though there are no illusions that the EU will abandon its Russophobic policies anytime soon. TASS has put together the key remarks that the Russian top diplomat made.
On coalition against Russia
"When World War II broke out, Hitler united a significant number - if not most - of the European countries under his banner for a war against the Soviet Union. Today, the EU and NATO are acting in a similar way, building a modern coalition of the same kind for a fight and pretty much a war against Russia."
On EU candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova
Moscow does not see any risks to its interests in the European Union’s decision to grant candidate status to Kiev and Chisinau: "The EU is not a political bloc like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The development of its relations with any willing countries does not create threats or risks for us."
On EU’s possible policy shift
Moscow is under no illusion that the EU will change its attitude to Russia, or abandon Russophobic policies: "The European Union keeps making it clear that it does not - and does not intend to - implement the existing economic, humanitarian and internal security agreements between Russia and EU nations. It doesn’t want to carry out the tasks that were outlined based on the lofty goals of creating a common space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. All this has been left behind, becoming a thing of the past."
On Azerbaijan’s position on Ukraine
"We appreciate the Azerbaijani leadership’s balanced and responsible attitude to the current developments and its understanding of the circumstances that took years to emerge and led to the current situation not only and not just in Ukraine and around it, but also in the field of European security whose architecture used to be harmonized, but came under consistent attacks by our Western colleagues in recent years."
The OSCE Minsk Group on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue suspended its activities at the initiative of the US and France and now, the trilateral statements of the Russia, Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders are the foundation of efforts to normalize the situation. "Our European neighbors accept this reality and actively seek to integrate the European Union’s efforts into activities to achieve the remaining goals." Another Azerbaijan-Armenia meeting on border delimitation will take place in Moscow, the dates that "will be convenient for both parties" are being set: "I have seen no signals that the parties have changed their mind or would no longer want to engage in this work." Russian businesses are interested in participating in the reconstruction of Azerbaijan’s territories following the Karabakh conflict: "We confirm that Russian economic operators are interested in joining post-war reconstruction efforts in Azerbaijan’s territories."
On relations between Moscow and Baku
Russia values its partnership with Azerbaijan and expects to boost cooperation "based on the declaration on allied interaction that was signed in February" (during Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Moscow - TASS). "Several dozen industrial and interagency agreements are being prepared" to reinforce it. The two countries agreed "to take stock of all the existing agreements" that include 200 documents adopted in the past 30 years. Russia and Azerbaijan also agreed to thoroughly work on the project of the North-South transport corridor that will partially pass through Azerbaijan.