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Lavrov: EU learns "sanctions reflex" from US

Moscow was surprised that EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini had called on all countries of the world to join the sanctions against Russia, the Russian Foreign Minister says

MOSCOW, March 25 /TASS/. A "sanctions reflex" or excessive pre-occupation with the instrument of sanctions to the detriment of diplomacy, which is so typical of the United States, is regretfully paving its way in the European Union, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni on Friday.

"Our American colleagues have been suffering from the sanctions reflex for a long time. I have told [US Secretary of State John Kerry] more than once that Washington must be tired of classical diplomacy or has lost its taste of diplomacy as a means of reaching compromises and prefers using sanctions on every possible occasion if anything goes wrong," Lavrov said.

"It has always been typical of the Americans. But the fact that the sanctions reflex is paving its way in the European Union is something new," the Russian Foreign Minister went on to say. "We did not see anything new in the five principles of relations with Russia which [EU Foreign Policy Chief] Federica Mogherini set forth on behalf of the European Union. But we were surprised that Mogherini had called on all countries of the world to join the sanctions against Russia.

"We our calling attention to it not because we want the European Union to tell us do anything in exchange for lifting the sanctions. No, we are not going to get involved in these discussions. But the direction of evolution of the collective EU foreign policy is telling," Lavrov said.

He does not consider this direction to be constructive. "Moreover, according to our assessment, it does not reflect the opinion of the majority of EU member states. If this Russophobic minority continues being prevalent in Brussels, the only thing we can do is to express our regrets," the Russian foreign minister added.