The head of European diplomacy confirmed the agreement of the EU countries on sanctions against Russia, the Russian side announced the possible termination of the dialogue with the European Union
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell spoke by phone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday, according to the EU leadership. Ministers discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and Belarus, the latest events related to the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, as well as relations between the EU and Russia in a broader sense.
Borrell thanked Lavrov for his efforts in organizing ceasefire talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan and stressed the need for strict adherence to the ceasefire, an immediate cessation of all hostilities and de-escalation of tensions, including in terms of rhetoric.
Borrell noted that the European Union fully supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, and reiterated that in his contacts with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, he called on both sides to urgently resume constructive negotiations without preconditions, adding that the European Union is ready to contribute to these efforts..
Speaking about Belarus, the EU representative confirmed that the EU firmly supports the independence and sovereignty of Belarus. He stressed the democratic right of the Belarusian people to elect their president through free and fair re-elections without external interference. European Union continues to support OSCE proposal to promote inclusive national dialogue in Belarus.
Borrell also expressed regret that Belarus, as an OSCE participating state, did not respond to this proposal, and called on Russia to support this initiative. He explained that on October 12, the Foreign Affairs Council gave the green light to start preparing the next package of sanctions, including against Alexander Lukashenko..
Regarding the assassination attempt on Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny using a banned chemical nerve agent, Borrell informed Lavrov of a political agreement reached by EU members on October 12 to begin preparations to take action against those involved in the assassination attempt. Borrell stressed that the Russian government should do everything possible to thoroughly investigate this crime in full transparency and fully cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Borrell also informed Lavrov of the agreement reached by the EU foreign ministers to continue the current approach to relations between the EU and Russia, according to which the full implementation of the Minsk agreements remains key. He called on Russia to fully comply with the Minsk agreements.
As noted in the statement, the conversation between the two diplomats demonstrated that the European Union wishes to maintain open channels of communication with Russia and expand cooperation on issues of mutual interest. “The European Union will continue to defend its interests and values, including respect for international law and fundamental rights,” the document says..
In response, Sergei Lavrov, as reported by Interfax, called this position of the European Union whipping up anti-Russian sentiment, which, according to him, does not meet the goals of stabilizing the situation in Europe. Moreover, Lavrov noted that Russia will be forced to stop communicating with the leaders of the European Union if the EU does not understand the need for a mutually respectful dialogue with Moscow..
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: ‘The EU is an unreliable partner’ | DW News
Commenting on the incident with Alexei Navalny and the attitude of the EU leaders towards him, the Russian minister, speaking on Tuesday at the Valdai discussion platform, noted the need for the EU and Germany to fulfill their international legal obligations in this story.
“According to Navalny, we want the European Union and Germany to also comply with international law. There is a convention on assistance in criminal matters, a common European convention, and protocols thereto. We appeal to them and ask Germany to fulfill its obligations under these international legal instruments, “Interfax quotes the words of the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry..
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