Current relations with Russia fail to meet the EU interests — senior diplomat

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MOSCOW, June 8./TASS/. Relations between Russia and the European Union, that have reached a freezing point, don’t meet the interests of the EU and prevent an advance towards establishing a dialogue on a range of issues, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on the sidelines of the Primakov Readings forum on Tuesday.

“The whole architecture of relations between Russia and the EU has become a hostage to a political decision of the EU to link them to the implementation of the Minsk accords,” he said. “This is where we have found ourselves – a zero point that prevents us from moving ahead, and of course the current state of things is at variance with the core interests of the Europeans themselves,” Grushko said.

Meanwhile, there is a growing awareness of the need to improve relations both in Russia and in the EU since bilateral cooperation on various tracks has been significantly affected over the past few years, he noted. “If we look back and recall what were the positive things achieved between Russia and the EU, we can recall the amount of trade, sizable amounts of mutual investment, and the very architecture of political relations when a Russia-EU summit was held every half-a-year, and there were also plans to set up a committee for issues of security, visa-free trips and many other things,” Grushko said.

He also mentioned “the Russo-phobic minority” in the EU, who often hinder the development of Russia-EU ties as well as affect the foreign policy of the EU in general.