During a telephone interview with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, the Russian President considered that the state of relations between Moscow and Brussels, weighed down by European sanctions, was not “satisfactory”.
In a telephone interview on June 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin and European Council President Charles Michel spoke of the state of relations between Russia and the European Union (EU), marked by several episodes of underlying tensions. Navalny case and economic sanctions.
In a statement, the Kremlin reports that the Russian head of state called on the European Union to renew “pragmatic and respectful cooperation” with Russia in order to meet “common interests”. For President Vladimir Putin, although “Russia and the European Union remain very important partners for each other” on the commercial level, the current state of relations does not “[pouvait] however not to be considered satisfactory ”.
For his part, the President of the European Council Charles Michel said that the current position of the EU vis-à-vis its relationship with Russia remained unchanged since the European summit on May 24.
“President [Charles] Michel shared the European Council’s position on EU-Russia relations and indicated that during their discussions in May, EU leaders condemned illegal, provocative and disruptive Russian activities against the EU, its member states and the United States. “beyond”, specifies a press release from the European Council published at the end of the meeting between the two leaders.
I conveyed a message of EU unity in my call with president Putin @KremlinRussia_E
The downwards trend in EU-Russia relations can only change if Russia stops disruptive behavior.
Fighting the pandemic and making effective vaccines available to everyone is a goal we discussed. pic.twitter.com/Rhw2B7xMHa
– Charles Michel (@eucopresident) June 7, 2021
Putin believes EU sanctions against Belarus have a “counterproductive” effect
Another point of divergence between Russia and the European Union: Belarus. Vladimir Poutine underlined the “counterproductive” nature of the European sanctions aimed at exerting pressure on Minsk following the arrest of the opponent Roman Protassevich. President Charles Michel, for his part, considered that it was essential that the Belarusian authorities “release political prisoners” and put an end to “the repressions by engaging in an inclusive national dialogue”. For the European leader, Russia can play a role in order to allow a “peaceful resolution of the crisis”.
Despite repeated calls from Russia not to interfere in this matter, the EU is already considering a series of sanctions affecting the country’s economy. The exports of potash and the transit of Russian gas are two avenues, European diplomat Josep Borrell told AFP at the end of May. These possibilities will be presented to the foreign ministers of the member countries on June 21 in Luxembourg. Unanimity is required for the adoption of European sanctions.
The crisis linked to Covid-19 and in particular the prospects for certification in the EU of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V were also discussed while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) still refuses to grant a European marketing authorization Russian vaccine. Despite the blockade of Brussels, Slovakia became on June 7 the second country of the European Union after Hungary to use Sputnik V.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia was also among the subjects discussed. The two sides stressed the importance of continuing the consistent implementation of the statements by the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia of November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021, with Charles Michel expressing his full support for the work in progress carried out in particular with the participation of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Russia, United States, France). The two leaders finally expressed their convergence of views on the need to resolve the Libyan crisis politically by supporting the authorities responsible for carrying out the transition period.