SHAFAQNA- Political dialogue between Russia and the European Union, hit by a crisis over Ukraine, continues, Russia’s EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov told Russian reporters on Thursday.
Chizhov mentioned a visit of Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics to Moscow on Monday and his talks with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, saying “the visit mainly focused on Russian-EU relations as Latvia is currently holding the chairmanship of the EU Council”.
Chizhov said the Russian foreign minister had also met with the ambassadors of the 28 EU member states to discuss Russia-EU relations. In reply to a query about proposals on relations with Russia that EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini readies for a EU foreign ministerial meeting on January 19, Chizhov said he would not comment on leaks to media.
“As to the EU Council’s position I recommend you to wait till Monday, when it will hold a strategic discussion on prospects for relations with Russia. It is clear and there is no secret that EU member countries have their own views of the issue, which not always coincide,” he said, adding that the upcoming dispute was expected to be lively for that reason.
He declined to discuss the possible timeframe for Mogherini’s visit to Russia, saying it could be mentioned at the Monday session. “But as far as I understand, she has such plans, and I think this visit may take place somewhere in February-March,” the Russian ambassador to the EU said.
The European Union member-states could re-engage with Moscow on global diplomacy, trade and other spheres in return for gradual steps to resolve the months-long crisis in Ukraine, Federica Mogherini said on Thursday.
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.