Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021

Russia’s foreign minister attacks EU for destroying relations over Ukraine conflict

Russian foreign minister issues warning to EU

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the bloc’s interference had “destroyed” relations between Moscow and Brussels. Mr Lavrov said the EU’s policy of interference in Ukraine had been going on for a long time. On Monday, during a meeting with Pekka Haavisto, Finnish minister for foreign affairs, in St. Petersburg, Mr Lavrov said: “The EU is continually tearing up relations.”

The foreign minister also stated Russia was prepared for a possible break in relations with the EU.

However, Mr Lavrov said that Russia was ready to reestablish contacts if the EU wanted to.

One week after Mr Lavrov met the EU’s foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell in Moscow, the Russian foreign minister repeated his allegations that the 2014 coup in Ukraine had reached a turning point.

He then claimed that EU members Germany, France and Poland “spat” on their signatures upon signing the agreement for a way out of the crisis in Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly blamed the EU for the conflict in Ukraine.

The outcome of the conflict saw Ukraine cede control of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea to Russia.

The Russian annexed Crimea in 2014 but received international condemnation.

This led to the EU imposing sanctions on Russia.

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Mr Lavrov said: “The EU has continuously destroyed, without exception, all the mechanisms that existed on the basis of the partnership and cooperation agreements.”

However, Finnish minister for foreign affairs Mr Haavisto said the EU was Russia’s most important trading partner.

But, he also made it clear the positions of the EU are also the positions of Finland, which is an integral member of the bloc.

Mr Haavisto said: “We still didn’t agree on everything today.”

Currently, the EU is discussing further sanctions against Russia because of the detention of Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny.

However, Russia has warned this could worsen relations between the Kremlin and Brussels.

The Russo-Ukrainian War as it has been referred to has not been resolved.

It is a protracted conflict that began in February 2014.

The war has centred around the status of the Ukrainian regions of Crimea and Donbass, which Moscow annexed to the condemnation of Western powers.

Additional reporting Monika Pallenberg.

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