Moscow expects substantive dialogue between Lavrov and Mogherini on Russia-EU cooperation

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Then Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, 2014

Then Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, 2014

© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Moscow expects a substantive discussion between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on April 24 on ways of restoring cooperation between Russia and the EU, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“During the talks on April 24, Lavrov and Mogherini will consider key aspects of bilateral relations and also vital issues of international agenda,” the ministry said.

The relations between Russia and the EU are going through tough times now and “the main irritant is the EU’s stake at continuing the sanctions pressure on Russia,” it said. “Anti-Russian sentiment is actively fueled in the EU and there are unfounded accusations against us of seeking to weaken the EU and influence elections in some member-states.”

Russia is ready for full-fledged resumption and actively maintaining channels of cooperation with the EU in various areas, the Foreign Ministry said.

“We expect to have a detailed discussion on the ways of restoring cooperation with the EU,” the ministry said. “We are ready to build up mutually beneficial relationship with the EU and its member-states based on equality, respect for national interests and objective interdependence of economies due to territorial proximity and complementarity.”

The Ukrainian crisis remains the main center of controversy between Moscow and Brussels, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“We hope that the European Union will stop ignoring Kiev’s unwillingness to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk agreements, particularly concerning the political settlement, and will pay attention to the manifestations of aggressive nationalism, violations of the freedom of speech and the rights of journalists in Ukraine,” the statement reads.

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