5 Mar 2022 23:28

Moscow to take steps to protect interests of Russian participants in EU border cooperation programs

MOSCOW. March 5 (Interfax) - Moscow will analyze the decision by the European Commission (EC) to suspend Russia from EU cross-border and transnational cooperation programs, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

"We will carefully analyze the consequences of this EC decision and take steps necessary to protect the interests of Russian participants," the ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a comment.

At the same time, Russia calls on the European Union and interested EU members to "remain within said agreements when carrying out any activity," she said.

"One can only regret that this cooperation sphere, not previously dependent on geopolitical conjuncture, could be yet another victim of the destructive EU sanctions policy," the comment said.

"The implementation of the programs with Russia's participation is based not on the EU's own acts, but the agreements on financing and implementation, which were concluded between Russia, the European Commission and EU members.

"The documents provide for the possibility of their suspension and establish a relevant procedure. The next steps: either a renewal or, after 180 days, termination of the agreements. However, the agreements provide for a suspension precisely of the programs, not of any of their participants," Zakharova said.

Yesterday it emerged that the EU had suspended its border cooperation programs with Belarus and Russia.