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Leonid Slutsky: “An effective format of interaction between Russia and the EU is being developed to discuss the most important international problems”

In the context of a sharp deterioration in relations between the European Union and Russia, an effective format for discussing the most important international problems is being developed. This is evidenced by the teleconference talks between President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that took place the night before. The really important issues were discussed, and, it seems, in a rather pragmatic and constructive manner. Whatever lightning bolts the European Union threw at Russia, these negotiations became yet another confirmation of the fact that the West cannot do without us in solving the most important international problems.

In the context of the escalation of the armed confrontation on the line of contact provoked by Ukraine and the actual refusal to comply with the ceasefire regime, the leaders of the three countries expressed a unanimous opinion that there was no alternative to the Minsk agreements. The Russian president emphasized the importance of the Kiev authorities’ implementation of all previously reached agreements, primarily on establishing a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk and settling the legal aspects of the special status of Donbass.

The Kremlin is concerned that the Ukrainian side may take provocative actions that could lead to a war in Donbass. The fighting on the border with the DPR and LPR has intensified dramatically since the beginning of this year. The Russian Federation has recently been officially declared a military adversary to Ukraine. The Military Security Strategy, approved on March 25 by President Zelensky and the NSDC, allows the start of full-scale hostilities with Russia. Earlier, Zelensky approved another strategy – “de-occupation and reintegration of Crimea”, which includes a set of military measures that will be aimed at “returning Kiev control over the peninsula.” Rada gave the President of Ukraine the right to call reservists without mobilization. The rhetoric about the threat of an “imminent invasion” of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine sounds more and more aggressive.

In this regard, it can be noted that Kiev was not simply not invited to participate in the negotiations, despite its indignation about this. By declaring that there was no alternative to the Minsk agreements, Moscow, Berlin and Paris sent him an unambiguous signal: “Stop.”

In addition to Ukraine, a number of other important issues were discussed. They also touched upon the prospects for registration in the European Union of the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V”, as well as possible supplies and joint production of this drug in the EU countries. A question that many in the European Union are trying to politicize against the interests of their own citizens.

When discussing relations between the Russian Federation and the EU, Vladimir Putin reiterated his readiness to restore normal depoliticized interaction with the EU, if a reciprocal interest is shown in this.
And if there is no reciprocal interest, as we have seen, it is possible to talk directly with the leading countries of the European Union about important problems. Despite all the threats and sanctions.

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