Russia says it is prepared to finish ties with the European Union

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Russian Minister of International Affairs Sergey Lavrov speaks on the Munich Safety Convention on February 15, 2020.

Kuhlmann | Munich Safety Convention

LONDON — Russia has stated it is able to reduce ties with the European Union, based on a fragment of an interview revealed on a ministry web site Friday morning. The feedback mark yet one more escalation in tensions between the 2 sides.

When requested if Russia was heading for a break with the European Union, Russia’s International Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov stated: “We proceed from the truth that we’re prepared (for that). Within the occasion that we once more see sanctions imposed in some sectors that create dangers for our financial system, together with in essentially the most delicate spheres,” based on a translation of the feedback by Reuters.

“We do not wish to isolate ourselves from world life, however we have now to be prepared for that. If you need peace then put together for conflict,” Lavrov added.

Neither the Russian overseas affairs ministry nor the European Fee, the manager arm of the EU, was instantly accessible for remark when contacted by CNBC on Friday.

The relationship between Russia and the EU hit a new low final week when the EU’s overseas coverage chief, Josep Borrell, visited his counterpart in Moscow. It has since been described as a “humiliating” journey by analysts.

Borrell went to voice the EU’s opposition to the arrest of Alexei Navalny, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nonetheless, he accused Russia of placing collectively “an aggressively-staged press convention” throughout his journey.

In remarks to the press, Lavrov said that, “the EU just isn’t a dependable accomplice, a minimum of on the present stage.” Borrell failed to deal with that remark, which sparked anger amongst some European lawmakers.

As well as, Borrell realized by way of Twitter throughout a gathering with Lavrov that Russia had expelled three EU diplomats for attending demonstrations in assist of Navalny.

“An aggressively-staged press convention and the expulsion of three EU diplomats throughout my go to point out that the Russian authorities didn’t wish to seize this chance to have a extra constructive dialogue with the EU,” Borrell stated in a weblog put up two days after his journey.

In consequence, he has urged that the EU ought to impose contemporary sanction on Russia — a choice that must be accepted by European governments.

It could not be the primary time that Russian corporations and people have been sanctioned by the EU. Their relationship has deteriorated considerably since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, however finally their ties are vastly essential to each given their shared financial, power and strategic pursuits.

Analysts have advised CNBC that the most recent variations between Moscow and Russia might put strain on the gasoline pipeline being constructed from Russia to Germany, Nord Stream 2.

The venture has been sharply criticized, together with by america, which has imposed sanctions on corporations engaged on the pipeline — a stance that new U.S. President Joe Biden has proven no indication of adjusting.