Russia 'ready' to break ties with EU if sanctions imposed

Ukrainian News
Canan Kevser
14 February 2021, 11:06
Canan Kevser
14 February 2021, 11:06

Russia is "ready to break off relations" with the European Union if sanctions proceeded, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

He said this in an interview published on Ministry's Telegram channel on Friday.

Answering a question on whether Russia is heading for breaking up ties with the European Union, Lavrov said Kremlin is ready to do so.

"We proceed from the fact that we are ready. If we again see sanctions imposed in some sectors that create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive spheres."

However, he added, Russia would pursue in case of mutually beneficial business.

"We are neighbours. Collectively, they are still our largest trading and investment partner. Many companies operate here. There are hundreds, thousands of joint ventures. If the business is mutually beneficial, we will pursue it," Lavrov said.

He is convinced the Russian Federation has become entirely self-sufficient in military terms.

"We don't want to isolate ourselves from global life, but we have to be ready for that. If you want peace then prepare for war," Russian Foreign Minister said.

Kremlin interpreted his words

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov later explained to reporters that Lavrov's statements meant Russia's readiness "for some restrictions, for some limitations, and other unfriendly manifestations."

"We want to develop relations with the European Union, but if the European Union follows this path, indeed, we will be ready. That's because we have to be prepared for the worst," Peskov said.

He added Russia itself did not initiate a break in relations with the EU, but it should be prepared in case of "extremely destructive" moves that damaged its infrastructure.

"Of course, if we face an extremely destructive line that damages our infrastructure, our interests, of course, Russia should be prepared in advance for such unfriendly steps," Kremlin spokesperson said.

Earlier, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that Russia is progressively disconnecting itself from Europe.

Sanctions against Russia

The EU already imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its illegal occupation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Last year it imposed travel bans and asset freezes on six Russian officials close to Putin over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The EU has hinted at imposing new sanctions against Moscow over the detention of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and a crackdown on protesters in Russia.