BRUSSELS, February 7 – RIA Novosti. The head of the EU's European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, stated in his blog following his visit to Moscow on February 4-6 that Russia is increasingly moving away from the European Union.
“My meeting with (Russian Foreign Minister Sergei – ed.) Lavrov and messages from the Russian authorities during this visit confirm that Europe and Russia are moving away from each other,” he wrote.
According to Borrell, it is Russia that is gradually moving away from Europe, “perceiving democratic values as an existential threat.”
The head of European diplomacy also expressed regret that “Russia does not want to use the opportunity for a more constructive dialogue.”
“This week I went to Moscow to check through diplomacy whether the Russian government is interested in overcoming differences and negative tendencies in our relations. The reaction I received shows a completely different direction,” the high representative said.
Borrell explained that the purpose of his trip was also “to express directly the strong condemnation of the EU” in connection with the sentencing of Alexei Navalny and in connection with the “mass arrests of thousands of demonstrators.”
“The Russian authorities did not want to take this opportunity to get a more constructive dialogue with the EU. This is unfortunate and we must take these consequences into account,” Borrell added.
He also noted the “aggressively organized” press conference following the talks with the Russian Foreign Minister. “Although this is not unexpected for us … we, as the EU, will have to pay attention to the consequences, think over the direction that we want to give to our relations with Russia, and act decisively together,” stated the head of European diplomacy.
On February 2, the Simonovsky Court of Moscow ruled to cancel Navalny's suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case and replace him with three and a half years in a general regime colony. Shortly thereafter, leading Western countries, including the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, called on the Russian authorities to release Navalny. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry advised foreign politicians commenting on the situation with Navalny to respect international law and deal with the problems of their countries, noting that statements by Western politicians on this topic are “like a blueprint.” The Kremlin said it did not intend to listen to statements from abroad about Navalny.
When considering the blogger's case, the court was visited by about 20 foreign diplomatic workers and many correspondents. At the same time, on February 4, foreign diplomats and journalists ignored the meeting of the Timiryazevsky court of Moscow, which arrested Cyril Daniela, a citizen of France and the Russian Federation, for seven days for participating in an uncoordinated action.