The European Union no longer considers its relationship with Russia as a partnership, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said on Monday, criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin for having repeatedly failed to hold on to international commitments.
Mogherini, who was picked by EU leaders to become the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Sunday, also slammed Moscow for having refrained from the slightest effort to put pressure on pro-Russian rebels acting in Ukraine's east, Novinite reports.
In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera [It], the outgoing Italian Foreign Minister said partnership between Brussels and Moscow had been based on the prospects that Ukraine could choose a "European scenario" for its development and this could turn into a "positive step".
In her words, however "at the will of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin this partnership does not exist. At the moment Russia is not a strategic partner anymore, but continues to have a strategic importance to our continent," she explained.
Mogherini is due to head the European diplomatic service on November 1.