13 Oct 2020 19:15

Lavrov warns of possibility that dialogue with EU leaders could be suspended

MOSCOW. Oct 13 (Interfax) - Russia will have to cease contacts with European Union leaders if the people in charge of the association's foreign policy do not understand the need for mutually respectful dialogue with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"The people who are in charge of foreign policy in the West and don't understand the need for mutually respectful dialogue... Maybe, we should stop talking to them for some time, especially since [European Commission President] Ursula von der Leyen says there can hardly be any geopolitical partnership with the current Russian authorities," Lavrov said when speaking at the Valdai discussion platform.

"So be it, if that's what they want," he said.

In a comment on the incident involving Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and the European Union's attitude toward the matter, Lavrov noted the need for the EU and Germany to fulfill their relevant obligations under international law.

"What we want regarding the Navalny situation is to see the European Union and Germany respect international law. There is a convention on assistance on criminal cases, an all-European convention and protocols to it. We are calling on them and asking Germany to meet its obligations under these international-law instruments," Lavrov said.

Lavrov added that during the conversation with EU High Representative Josep Borrell, which lasted more than one hour earlier on Tuesday, he had familiarized Borrell with Russia's vision of the situation and the EU's arrogant attitude toward it.

"Russia would like to understand whether it is possible to have any business with the EU under the current circumstances at all," Lavrov said.