15 Mar 2019 15:36

Russia seeks equal cooperation with EU - Foreign Ministry

BRUSSELS. March 15 (Interfax) - Russia wants the European Union to be strong, rather than develop into an obedient instrument in somebody else's hands, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin said in Brussels on Friday.

Pankin mentioned the EU's resistance to building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as an example. "Ukraine might be offered a termination fee at, say, the amount of our transit payments, for it to stop using the pipelines and so that the American market could come here and ask for a higher price," Pankin said.

"We will lose and have to find a new market, and you will lose, too. Do we need a scenario in which a third party governs our interests?" Pankin said at a panel discussion of the conference "Connecting Eurasia from Atlantic to the Pacific," which is taking place in Brussels.

"Russia understands its own interests and the interests of the European Union, and the European Union understands our interests, as well," Pankin said, referring to positive economic results achieved before 2014.

"After all, we had trust in business. There is no business without failure, cheating, or scheming. Such phenomena are both national and international. However, from a business point of view, we did have trust with EU member states and the EU as a whole," he said.

"We would like the voice of wisdom based on the interests of all EU member states and the whole EU to triumph in the European Union, rather than the minority's diktat. Regrettably, we have been witnessing the minority's diktat not only in the European Union but also in the global liberal narrative, which is sad," Pankin said.

"Here is our attitude to the European Union: We want a strong neighbor who can help us and interact with us as equals. This equality is very important, because we are not just some space for crossing or gaining resource benefits from. All of us, Russia and our partners in the Eurasian Union, are sufficiently developed elements of a highly diversified economy. We're looking at the future. We have a production market, not just a market that buys Chinese or European goods. Our plans and projects are far-reaching," Pankin said.