Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov calls the current situation between Russia and the European Union ‘deplorable’.
The statement comes after the foreign minister held talks with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg.
In a press conference, he said, “We paid particular attention to developments on the European continent, including the deplorable situation in relations between Russia and the European Union. Contacts with Brussels have been reduced to a minimum as a result of the EU’s policy aimed at containing Russia.”
“For our part, we expressed readiness to boost pragmatic dialogue with the European Union and its member states based solely on equality and mutual respect, and search for agreements in areas of mutual interest,” Lavrov added.
The Russian top diplomat also took to commenting on Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, who had been mentioned by the Austrian foreign minister at the press conference. Lavrov insisted that Navalny was serving his sentence for economic crimes.
“As for Navalny, our Western colleagues have stopped talking about the need to complete the investigation into his so-called poisoning,” Lavrov said. “I won’t list all the inconsistencies and contradictions related to this issue. I would just urge all who seek truth to have a look at the German government’s official responses to a parliamentary request. The responses were made public a couple of months ago, I think, at a Bundestag session. There are protocols, go read them, it’s very interesting,” he concluded.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was recently asked about Navalny by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He also said that there was no political motivation behind Navalny’s arrest.