Russia-EU relations to remain Moscow’s priority

Moscow, Dec 28 (IANS) Relations with the European Union(EU) will remain Russia’s foreign policy priority, despite the “complexity of the current situation”, Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

“Relations with the EU, our neighbour and our largest trading partner, objectively will remain one of the priorities of Russia’s foreign policy in the years ahead,” Xinhua quoted the ministry statement as saying.
As the West has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia for its alleged role in the escalation of Ukraine crisis, the EU is believed by Moscow to waver over further restrictive measures, which also brought negative effects to its members’ economies.
On Russian-US relations, the ministry stressed that restoration is possible only if Washington is ready to conduct an equal dialogue with Moscow, respecting each other’s interests.
Escalating tensions between the two countries only resulted from the wilful choices of the US to step up pressure on Moscow by imposing more sanctions, it said.
Nevertheless, the ministry noted that in 2014 the US and Russia had not scrapped cooperation on major international issues.
“Russia-US highest-level contacts are maintained on the situation in Ukraine, Syrian crisis, Iran nuclear settlement, resolution of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa,” the statement said.
The ministry reiterated the urgency of achieving “lasting peace and national reconciliation” in Ukraine and creating “a state system with which would make all Ukrainians feel comfortable, safe and dignified”.