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EU believes relations with Russia will get even worse

Jerome Hughes
Press TV, Brussels

The European Union says its relationship with Russia has never been worse and is likely to deteriorate further. A new policy document on the matter from the European Commission will be considered by EU leaders next week. 

Push back, constrain and engage; these are the core elements contained in a European Commission policy proposal which has just been presented relating to Russia. The 27-country bloc's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, says the EU must be realistic.

The new policy proposal suggests the EU must push back against Russia's human rights violations and international law breaches. This mostly relates to Ukraine and Georgia. The EU must constrain attempts by Moscow to undermine EU interests. Here, the document talks about cyber attacks. But the bloc should engage with Russia on COVID-19, climate change, travel visas and efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal.

Big claims require big evidence and the EU has never come forward with a shred of evidence, the Kremlin insists. There are many experts who believe the EU is going down the wrong path.

Borrell was asked about the EU's dependency on Russia's energy. He responded, there is no mention of this subject at all in the policy document.

The commission proposal contains a provision for additional sanctions on Russia, but EU leaders are divided over the effectiveness of such measures. They will make their final decisions on the matter during a summit here at the European Council next week.


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