The European Union is not seeking to increase tensions with Russia and is open for a dialogue on the existing issues, European Council President Donald Tusk said Friday.


Donald Tusk


“Increasing tensions with Russia is not our aim. We are simply reacting to steps taken by Russia. Of course, the EU is always ready to engage in dialogue. But we’ll never compromise our values or principles,” Tusk told journalists, adding that it was Russia’s strategy to weaken the European Union.


The EU-Russia relations have been strained every since Crimea reunified with Russia in 2014, with Brussels accusing Moscow of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs. The tensions are exacerbated in light of the situation in Syria, especially in the embattled city of Aleppo, with certain EU politicians, including UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, raising the issue of possible Syria-related sanctions against Russia.