Russian Foreign Ministry expects substantive dialogue between Lavrov and Mogherini
Moscow expects a substantive discussion between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on ways of restoring cooperation between Russia and the EU, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"During the talks on April 24, Lavrov and Mogherini will consider key aspects of bilateral relations and also vital issues of international agenda," the ministry said in a statement.
"The relations between Russia and the EU are going through tough times, "the main irritant is the EU’s stake at continuing the sanctions pressure on Russia. Anti-Russian sentiment is actively fueled in the EU and there are unfounded accusations against us of seeking to weaken the EU and influence elections in some member-states," the ministry added.
According to the ministry, Russia is ready for full-fledged resumption and actively maintaining channels of cooperation with the EU in various areas.
"We expect to have a detailed discussion on the ways of restoring cooperation with the EU," the ministry said. "We are ready to build up mutually beneficial relationship with the EU and its member-states based on equality, respect for national interests and objective interdependence of economies due to territorial proximity and complementary."
The Ukrainian crisis remains the main center of controversy between Moscow and Brussels, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.
"We hope that the European Union will stop ignoring Kiev’s unwillingness to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk agreements, particularly concerning the political settlement, and will pay attention to the manifestations of aggressive nationalism, violations of the freedom of speech and the rights of journalists in Ukraine," the statement reads.