SKOPJE, December 1. /TASS/. Russia does not advocate the dismantling of the European Union (EU), but has noted that the level of rigid regimentation and lockstep discipline in the economic bloc now exceeds even that of its military twin, NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following a meeting of the Foreign Ministers’ Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Skopje.
"I am not calling for a break-up of the European Union; such calls are unnecessary. I am simply making an observation as to how those countries that have proclaimed themselves to be exemplary, the pinnacle of democracy, actually behave [in reality]. There is no democracy to be seen in the European Union. What you have there is the type of lockstep regimentation [worthy of a bunch of unthinking yes-men], goose-stepping in unison, adhering to a discipline that’s stricter even than in NATO, in my opinion. Actually, [it’s] ‘better’ than in NATO," the top Russian diplomat said.
According to Lavrov, it is clear that the EU has changed. He recounted that the union had originally been "created as an alliance of countries that sought to boost the well-being of their citizens more effectively [by working] together rather than separately." "Just look at where funds from the so-called European Peace Facility are directed," he noted. "Listen to what EU diplomats are saying, those ‘great’ ones, [listen to] what the leadership of the European Commission is proclaiming, which is tantamount to a usurpation of power. There have been many instances already of [EU] member states expressing concern about and questioning the [dubious] grounds and authority by which the European Commission makes decisions on behalf of its member states," Lavrov added.