MOSCOW, 8 Feb – RIA Novosti. The head of European diplomacy sincerely seeks to improve relations between Russia and the European Union and is waiting for reciprocal steps from the Russian Federation, and the different tonality statements about the results of his visit to Russia, made in Moscow and Brussels, can be explained by the need to maneuver between the polar points of view in the European Union on relations with Moscow, Tatiana Zonova, Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor of the Department of Diplomacy at MGIMO told 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. According to Borrell, it is Russia that is gradually moving away from Europe, “perceiving democratic values as an existential threat.” Earlier in Moscow, Borrell said that there are areas in which the Russian Federation and the EU can and should cooperate, since in this case good results will be achieved, and Brussels, according to him, advocates dialogue with Moscow, despite the difficulties in relations. After Borrell's words, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed surprise at his assessment of the visit to Moscow, stressing that they “strongly contrast with his statements given at a press conference in Moscow.”
“His position is understandable. As far as I understand, he has a desire to restore normal relations with Russia, and he talked about this when he was in Moscow, and negotiations with Sergey Lavrov were going on about this – in what areas and how to develop channels of interaction, how to normalize But on the other hand, naturally, in Europe the attitude (towards Russia – ed.) of many politicians is extremely negative, they demand sanctions, which coincides with the position of the American administration, “the expert said.
She suggested that Borrell's phrase that on February 22, at a meeting of EU foreign ministers, the issue of expanding sanctions against Russia in accordance with the new sanctions regime for violation of human rights could be raised, suggests that the head of European diplomacy is waiting for reciprocal steps from Moscow.
“It seems to me that, having pointed to February 22, he is at the same time expecting some steps from our side. , to criticize them, but from our side, to more actively propose some joint initiatives to normalize relations. I think that it is quite possible to move towards each other, “Zonova explained.
“Borrell is a politician. Naturally, he has to maneuver, calculate some steps. In diplomacy, not everything coincides with what is said first in one place, then in another. Naturally, some adjustments take place and the situation must be taken into account, but I got the impression that he is quite sincerely striving for normalization of relations and expects some steps from us, too, for this to happen, “the expert added, commenting on his statements.
She stressed that the normalization of relations is beneficial to both Russia and the European Union. “And we need these relations, no doubt. We have a colossal trade turnover with Europe, cultural relations have always developed well. Therefore, we are clearly interested, for its part, Europe is also very interested in us. There is a lot of talk in Europe that the EU should strengthen their role and importance in the international arena. Of course, in this regard, they also need relations with Russia, as an influential country, “the expert concluded.
Borrell's visit to Moscow took place on February 4-6. During his stay in the Russian capital, Borrell met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as representatives of Russian public organizations.