EU foreign policy chief to visit Moscow in first week of February

The Council considered the arrest of Navalny and crackdown on his supporters completely unacceptable

Photo: EU Josep Borrell.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will visit Moscow in the first week of February, attending a long-lasting invitation from Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov.

After the first for this year Foreign Affairs Council, held in person in Brussels, High Representative Borrell told media that it will be a good opportunity to discuss with his Russian counterpart all relevant issues, to pass clear messages on the current situation and on the contentious areas of rights and freedoms and to have a strategic discussion on our relations with Russia, since in March the European Council is going to have a session devoted to relationship with Russia.

“I think it is good, before the European Union Council discusses strategically about this relationship, to discuss with our Russian counterpart,” HR Borrell said.

“The Council considered the arrest of Mr Navalny and crackdown on his supporters completely unacceptable, condemned the mass detentions and police brutality over the weekend. We call on Russia to release Mr Navalny and all those detained,” he added.

Asked about eventual sanctions on the arrest of Navalny, HR Borrell underlined that some Member States raised the question of which would be a good answer to the situation in Russia “with respect to Mr Navalny and about 3000 people arrested”.

Some raised this question, others not, but there has not been any concrete proposals on the table, the EU foreign policy chief stated.

He said as well that the Council “is ready to react as required by the circumstances and to take appropriate actions if the circumstances require it, but today there has not been any kind of proposal – and as consequence any kind of decision – about it”.

 

 

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