Lavrov from China: Attempts to Use Sanctions to Punish Moscow, Beijing are Unwise
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed on Tuesday that attempts to use sanctions in a bid to punish Russia and China are unwise.
In a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during a visit to the southern Chinese city of Guilin, Lavrov said he discussed with the top Chinese diplomat “ways of further promoting practical cooperation against the backdrop of the current epidemiological restrictions and paid special attention to preparations for top-level and high-level Russian-Chinese contacts.”
“We handed over to our partners a draft joint statement by the heads of state for the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China,” Lavrov told reporters.
He described the negotiations as businesslike and specific, stressing that they had been held in a traditionally friendly and confidential atmosphere.
“We said once again that, despite the coronavirus pandemic, Russia and China continued to cooperate closely and fruitfully in practical areas, in the international arena, in fact, in all areas that were identified as priorities by our leaders during contacts between [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin and [Chinese] President Xi Jinping,” Lavrov said, as quoted by TASS news agency.
“We will continue to strengthen our relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction,” he added.
Russia’s Relation with EU
On the relation with the European Union, Lavrov said it has been destroyed by unilateral steps taken by Brussels, so Moscow has no relations with that organization now.
“There are no relations with the European Union as an organization. The entire infrastructure of these relations has been destroyed by unilateral decisions made by Brussels,” he said.
“If Europe severed these ties, just destroying all the mechanisms that had been created for many years, and we only have individuals in the European countries that want to be guided by their national interests. Then, probably and objectively, this leads to the fact that our relations with China are developing faster that what is left of relations with European countries,” Lavrov stressed.
Meanwhile, he voiced Russia’s readiness for contacts to scale up cooperation with the EU when Brussels “deems it necessary to eliminate anomalies in bilateral relations.”
“If and when Europeans deem fit to eliminate these anomalies in contacts with their largest neighbor, of course, we will be ready to build up these relations based on equality, the search of balance of interests. In the meantime, there are no changes on the Western front, while in the East, in my opinion, we have a very intensive agenda, which is becoming more diverse every year,” he noted.