On April 24, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini in Moscow.
The talks touched on key bilateral issues. Despite the current complicated period in our relations resulting from the illegitimate EU sanctions policy toward Russia, the meeting participants confirmed their willingness to advance mutually beneficial cooperation with the EU and its member states based on equality, the objective interdependence of the economies due to geographical proximity and complementarity. The sides expressed their willingness to focus primarily on issues where they share approaches, have common interests and where there are opportunities to work together. They agreed to step up political contacts and have more expert meetings on a number of pressing international issues, as well as to support interaction channels in the sphere of domestic security, primarily in areas such as combating international terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal migration.
Prospects for the development of sectoral cooperation in areas that may be of mutual interest, such as fisheries, phytosanitary control, climate change, healthcare, science and education, culture, transport, and energy, to name a few, were carefully considered as well. We drew our partners’ attention to the fact that dialogue formats, which the European Union has blocked, have traditionally been a good platform for that.
The Russian side noted the presence of Russophobic sentiment in the European Union, where Brussels and European politicians occasionally voice groundless allegations that Russia seeks to weaken the EU and is waging a hybrid war against the EU, and that Russia has even influenced the outcomes of elections in a number of member states.
The sides had an in-depth discussion of a number of important issues of the international agenda, including the Syrian settlement, the situation in southeastern Ukraine, and the Western Balkans with an emphasis on the situation in Kosovo, the Middle East and North Africa, Afghanistan and Yemen, as well as the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to resolve the situation around the Iranian nuclear programme.