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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

“The European Union plans to reconsider the strategy of relations with Moscow”

The foreign Ministers of member countries of the European Union at a special meeting on Monday will try to develop a new long-term strategy of relations with Russia, writes “Kommersant” with reference to its sources. As expected, the updated policy will replace the policy of sanctions.

photo: morguefile.com

The head of the European foreign ministries believe that it is already impossible to return to the cooperation that exists between Russia and the West to the conflict in Ukraine.

“The events of the last two years in European capitals came to the following conclusion: in any case a return to relations with Russia in the spirit of “business as usual ” can not be”, — said “Kommersant” a source in the EU structures.

According to him, currently the European officials have a common vision of relations with Russia – “there are only sanctions, but it can’t last forever”. “We need a new normal — a long-term strategy of cooperation with under new conditions”, – he said.

Thus in the near future can be presented a report on the feasibility of EU cooperation with the Eurasian economic (EEU). According to “Kommersant”, the European experts came to the conclusion that a rapprochement with the Eurasian economic Union is premature.

The Russian foreign Ministry also agreed to “take inventory” of relations with the EU, told “Kommersant” Russian diplomatic sources. In his words, “the current stage of relations” Moscow wants an equal partnership with the EU, are not satisfied. At the same time on Smolensk square assured that to improve relations with the European Union without removing the main part of the sanctions will fail.

Diplomat from Moscow in one of the key countries of the EU, told the newspaper that the main obstacle in the way of “substantive conversations” about a possible mitigation of anti-Russian sanctions is “the lack of progress in the implementation of even the first, seemingly the most simple points of the Minsk agreements”. We are talking about a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine and withdrawal of heavy weapons

However, according to a source in Brussels, in Europe are not going to take any decisions related to the weakening of the sanctions regime. According to him, against such a move by the United States, which European leaders have to reckon with.

In early March the Committee of permanent representatives of member countries of the European Union approved the extension of sanctions against Russia. Restrictions in relation to 146 individuals — citizens of the Russian Federation and Ukraine — and 37 Russian companies will be in effect until September 15, 2016.

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