BRUSSELS, January 15. /TASS/. The European Union member-states could reengage with Moscow on global diplomacy, trade and other spheres in return for gradual steps to resolve the months-long crisis in Ukraine, EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has said.
A discussion paper seen by Reuters on Wednesday ahead of a meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Brussels on January 19 says that the sanctions strategy towards Moscow should be complemented with a “more proactive approach” to make Russia change its policy on Ukraine.
Taking into consideration a common aim of free trade from Lisbon to Vladivostok, Mogherini said the EU should study the possibility of expanding trade with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union of ex-Soviet states, which came into force earlier this month.
“There are significant interests on both sides, which may be conflicting but could serve as a basis for trade-offs and could imply a give-and-take approach,” the paper reads.
Mogherini said the EU should consider plans for reviving joint efforts with Russia in solving problems in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Iran, North Korea, Palestine as well as the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the Gaidar Economic Forum on Wednesday he hopes that Moscow would be able to return relations with the European Union to normal soon.
The West announced in late July sectoral sanctions against Russia targeting the military, oil and finance sectors over Moscow’s position on Ukrainian events, in particular, what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged role in the conflict in the country’s east.
In response, Russia imposed on August 6 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway.