Mogherini: Russia has been a strategic partner for the European Union, but it is not so

Photo: EPA

Russia is no longer a strategic partner of the European Union, but the electoral interaction is necessary, said EU high representative for the common foreign and security policy Federica Mogherini in an interview with UNIAN news Agency ahead of his visit to Ukraine.

“Russia has been a strategic partner for the European Union, but it is not so. It is clear that our relationship with Russia is not what it was, and not what it could be: full implementation of the Minsk agreements is a key element of any significant progress in our relationship. But we in the EU know that the electoral cooperation with Russia is also necessary, where there is a clear interest of the EU,” she said.

Mogherini stressed that “Russia is more than its current government.”

“We are also working with the people of Russia through support to civil society in terms of human rights and independent media, and we invest in opportunities for interaction between our people, especially our students and scientific workers,” she said.

Relations between Russia and the EU deteriorated after the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of armed conflict in the Donbass.

In the spring of 2014 against Russia was imposed economic sanctions by the United States, the European Union and some other countries. The sanctions packages several times expanded and tightened.

The Minsk agreement governing the resolution of the conflict in the Donbas was signed in February of 2015. They involve a ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the contact line, the release of all hostages and the restoration of full control over the state border by the government of Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. None of the points of agreement not yet fully executed.