Relations between the Russian Federation and the EU are deteriorating until, perhaps, they have not reached the bottom, but the parties can explore “zones of cooperation”, said EU Ambassador to Moscow Markus Ederer.
“If we are talking about relations between Russia and Europe, then everything is more complicated. Relations, of course, are deteriorating until we may have reached the bottom. But we can explore areas of cooperation”, – he said, speaking during the video conference “Russia and Europe in tomorrow’s world. Looking back to move into the future”.
Relations between the Russian Federation and Western countries worsened due to the situation in Donbass and around Crimea, which was reunited with Russia after a referendum on the peninsula. The West, having accused the Russian Federation of interference, imposed sanctions against it, Moscow retaliated, embarked on a course of import substitution, and more than once declared that it was counterproductive to talk to it in the language of sanctions.
At the end of last week, the Czech authorities accused the Russian special services of involvement in an explosion at an ammunition depot in Vrbetica in 2014. In this regard, Prague expelled 18 Russian diplomats from the country. In response, Moscow declared 20 employees of the Czech diplomatic mission persona non grata.
The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the statements about the involvement of the Russian special services in the explosion are absurd, unfounded and far-fetched, and the United States and European countries are behind the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Prague, which are trying to solve their own internal problems in this way.
On Wednesday, the head of the Czech Foreign Ministry, Jakub Kulganek, demanded that Russia return the expelled Czech diplomats to Moscow, threatening otherwise to reduce the number of personnel of the Russian embassy to the same as the Czech one, that is, to five diplomats. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova, in response, suggested that Prague leave ultimatums for communication within NATO and added that “such a tone is unacceptable with Russia.”
The NATO spokesman told RIA Novosti yesterday that the alliance is in full solidarity with Prague and intends this week to discuss with the head of the Czech Foreign Ministry the situation in relations between the Czech Republic and Russia. Earlier NATO also called for punishment of those involved in the explosions in Vrbetica.French Foreign Minister does not believe in Russian invasion of Ukraine