The Russian Foreign Ministry doubts the possibility of further cooperation with the European Union because of the actions taken by the association in connection with the case of Alexei Navalny. This was stated in the ministry’s answers to questions sent to the media before the annual press conference of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The Foreign Ministry stated that there was a serious decline in relations between Moscow and Brussels in 2020. In particular, the ministry accused individual EU member states of trying to prevent the use and production of Russian vaccines against coronavirus on the territory of the European Union. According to the ministry, instead of rethinking their approach to Russia, EU countries continued their sanctions policy and interfered in the affairs of neighboring Belarus.
“The apogee of unfriendly steps were actions in connection with the so-called ‘poisoning’ of Navalny, which cast doubt on the very possibility of building further cooperation with the European Union,” the ministry said. Nevertheless, the ministry assured that Moscow would not “strike an offended pose” and is determined to build a mutually respectful dialogue when Brussels is ready for it.
Earlier, members of the European Parliament voted for a resolution urging to immediately block the construction of the pipeline “Nord Stream-2” because of the arrest of Navalny. In addition, the parliamentarians demanded the Council of Europe to take a tougher stance on this issue and impose new sanctions on Russia.
Navalny’s detention at Sheremetyevo airport became known on Sunday, January 17. This occurred on the basis of a ruling by the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service in Moscow, according to which the opposition activist was wanted for systematic violations of the terms of his probation. On January 18, he was arrested for 30 days.
Before his arrest, he was in Berlin, where he was taken on August 22, 2020. Two days earlier, during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow, Navalny had felt unwell and the plane was grounded in Omsk.