Russophobic countries in the European Union backed by the United States continue to have impact on relations between Moscow and Brussels as part of the policy aimed at containing Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Italy’s Askanews news agency.
“A small group of Russophobes inside the EU, which, relying on the United States support, does not hide its interest in containing Russia, continues to have an impact on them [relations between Russia and the EU),” he said. “This is the European Union’s symptomatic problem, that is, inability to reach consensus on a positive basis.”
Lavrov stressed that Russia remained open to pragmatic cooperation with the European Union, which continues to be an important trade and economic partner. “We are guided by the premise that the existing problematic issues could be resolved, if we rely on the principles of mutual respect for each other’s interests,” he added.
Relations between Russia and the EU deteriorated in 2014 amid the Ukrainian crisis. The EU imposed sanctions on Russia, after which Moscow took a number of countermeasures.