The European Union reaffirmed its commitment to dialogue with Russia in coordination with the United States and other partners after the call of French President Emmanuel Macron to launch its own dialogue with Moscow, TASS reports, citing EU Foreign Service spokesman Peter Stano.
The speaker did not comment on the publication in the British newspaper Financial Times, which indicated that Macron’s initiative “caused irritation and stunned officials” of the European Union.
“The position of the EU on the negotiations with Russia was clearly articulated last Friday by the High Representative [по иностранным делам и политике безопасности] EU Josep Borrell at an informal meeting of Foreign Ministers in France, in Brest,” Stano said. Following the meeting in Brest, Borrell stressed that the EU will conduct a dialogue with Russia in coordination with the United States and partners. Stano noted that the issue will be discussed on January 24 in Brussels at a meeting of the EU Council at the level of foreign ministers, and Borrell invited US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to join the meeting.
Speaking about the publication in the Financial Times, Stano said that there was a “general rule – never comment on rumors in the media and statements by so-called anonymous sources.”
Yesterday, at a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Macron said that Europe cannot be satisfied with coordination with the United States, it needs its own dialogue with Russia. After that, Borrell had a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Blinken. The participants in the conversation confirmed the need for a “strong, clear and united transatlantic front.” The telephone conversation took place on the eve of Blinken’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov scheduled for January 21.
Earlier, Blinken expressed hope that the United States would not have to impose tough sanctions against Russia. At the same time, he specified that the US administration would act decisively if it becomes necessary to introduce them.
Also, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that the EU should sort itself out on the format of the dialogue with Russia. The question of the participation of the European Union in the negotiations on security guarantees is not a matter of principle for Moscow, the Kremlin representative believes.