After years of sanctions from the West, the Russian Federation declared yesterday it is ready to severe ties with the European Union.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Soloviev LIVE Youtube channel that Moscow does not rule out the possibility of cutting ties with the EU if Brussels introduces sanctions that create risks for sensitive sectors of the Russian economy, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“We are ready to cut ties if it happens on the initiative of the EU. For our part, we strongly call on the EU to establish equal and mutually respectful cooperation, which is what [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov] said,” the Russian Foreign Ministry declared.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later clarified the comments.
Peskov underlined, “mass media outlets post the headline [about Lavrov’s comments] that came to be sensationalist without context.” According to the Kremlin representative, “it is a big mistake by mass media outlets which changes the meaning,” wrote TASS.
“The point is that we don’t want this [to sever ties with the EU] but seek to develop relations with the European Union. However, if the EU chooses to go down this path [of imposing sanctions that entail risk for the Russian economy], then yes, we will be ready because you need to be ready for the worst,” he explained. “This is what the minister spoke about. However, the meaning was distorted, and this sensationalist headline was presented in a way that paints Russia practically ready to initiate the break-up with the EU itself,” Peskov said. “I just wanted to lament this,” the spokesman acknowledged.
According to Peskov, Lavrov’s comments do not require “any confirmation.” “Of course, if we face the most destructive policy that causes damage to our infrastructure and our interests, then Russia should be ready in advance for these hostile steps,” Peskov stressed.