Moscow and the bloc talk only when they need to discuss technical issues, officials have said
Russia and the EU have put almost all dialogue on hold amid the Ukraine conflict, Moscow’s permanent mission to the bloc has said. It reiterated, however, that the standoff has not discouraged it from promoting Russia’s view on global affairs in Brussels.
In a commentary for the Izvestia newspaper published on Thursday, the embassy said that political dialogue between Moscow and Brussels had been completely suspended. In the current geopolitical circumstances, the mission only “maintains working contacts with European institutions to discuss and resolve issues that are rather technical in nature,” such as the operations of Russian diplomatic offices on the bloc’s territory, it noted.
The mission explained that the nature of its work had changed as a result of the shifting political landscape, but stressed that “its tasks remain the same – to promote Russia’s approach in Brussels.”
Due to the standoff, the EU and Russia have suspended dialogue in almost all spheres, officials added. “Cultural cooperation as well as all other lines of interaction have been unilaterally severed by Brussels. In the current conditions, we have no one with whom to expand cultural cooperation,” the embassy said.
Tensions between Moscow and the EU began to increase in 2014 when the bloc refused to recognize the results of a referendum in the Crimean Peninsula, whose population voted overwhelmingly to join Russia after a Western-backed coup in Kiev. That year, the EU imposed tough economic and political sanctions on Moscow, and in 2019, the bloc declared that it no longer considered Russia a “strategic partner.”
The EU significantly expanded its sanctions in 2022 after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine. In April of that year, the bloc followed numerous Western countries in expelling 19 Russian diplomats. Moscow responded in kind by expelling 18 EU officials.
Commenting in April on the state of relations with Brussels, Russian President Vladimir Putin lamented that ties had “greatly deteriorated.” The Russian leader accused the EU of initiating “a geopolitical confrontation” with Moscow and of abandoning its prime mission of developing economic cooperation and European integration.
October 26, 2023 at 07:35PM