MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. The Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov discussed on Monday with his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva the relations of Russia with the European Union and NATO, as well as the development of cooperation in trade and investment sphere.
As pointed out the Russian Minister, during the talks, both sides expressed interest in improving relations between Russia and the EU that the interests of the entire European continent.
“I think we demonstrated enough goodwill in relation to our readiness to resume without any preconditions, of all those channels of dialogue, cooperation, mutually beneficial projects, which were frozen after the spring of 2014 (after the imposition of sanctions because of the Ukrainian crisis – approx. TASS),” – said the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
According to him, in Russia appreciate that many in the EU understand the seriousness of the current situation in relations with Russia and favour the elimination of this situation. However, he noted that Moscow will not negotiate about the conditions for the lifting of sanctions. “We don’t ask ever, no European Union nor other countries that joined the sanctions, these sanctions removed, do not let any conduct negotiations on the conditions for the lifting of sanctions,” – said Lavrov.
In turn, Santos Silva recalled that Portugal is a member of the EU therefore needs to adopt a common EU position, but stressed that parties need to use every political opportunity to bring the relations out of the sanctions impasse. “We need to take advantage of any shift in the political plan to break the impasse in which we find ourselves now in connection with the sanctions and counter-sanctions, and that harms our economies,” he said. “We should focus on compromise and act in accordance with the Minsk agreements [on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis],” said the Minister.
Sabotage Kiev, the threat of NATO and the international agenda
The Russian foreign Minister said that during the talks, briefed Portuguese counterpart about the efforts undertaken by Moscow to ensure the full and consistent implementation of the Minsk agreements, and drew attention to the counterproductive actions of Kiev, including the adoption of laws that completely go against the spirit and letter of the Minsk agreements and jeopardizing prospects for a peaceful resolution.
According to Lavrov, the Russian side also drew the attention of the Portuguese partners and the individual actions of the Alliance to increase military activity near the Russian border. “We believe such actions are unfriendly and seriously undermining strategic stability and General trust in Europe and the Euro-Atlantic area”, – he stressed.
In addition, the Ministers exchanged views and assessments on the situation in the middle East and North Africa, including Syria and Libya. “Certainly, we are traditionally interested in the evaluation, the Portuguese colleagues have expressed on the situation on the African continent and in some Latin American countries”, – said Lavrov. The foreign Minister of Portugal, in turn, thanked the Russian counterpart for information on the middle East: “I would Like to thank the Minister for the valuable information he told us about the situation in the middle East”.
On the situation in Syria
Not without the traditional questions on the situation in Syria. First and foremost, the journalists were interested in was adopted yesterday in the UN Security Council resolution on ceasefire in Syria. The Russian Minister explained that, according to the resolution, “the truce will begin when all parties on the ground agree on how to enter a cease-fire was complete and comprehensive in all areas of Syria.” He stressed that “the ceasefire does not apply to shares of the government of Syria with the support of Russia against all terrorist groups is ISIS (Islamic state), “dzhebhat an-Nusra” (banned in Russia) and all who cooperate with them”.
Meanwhile, according to him, in Moscow predict that the use of this resolution for the implementation of the stuffing of misinformation on the situation in Syria to discredit the Damascus division of the country.
“Attempts [disinformation] will continue with the sole purpose to denigrate government, to accuse them of all mortal sins, war crimes, – noted the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. – [This is done] in order to consistently implement the actions that we have already observed in the Eastern parts of Syria, where the United States will implement a scenario of creating a quasi-partition of the country. Will this theme continue to talk with the Americans, their allies in the coalition”.
Trade, investment and humanitarian cooperation
One of the main topics of the talks was greater cooperation in trade, investment and humanitarian spheres. According to the head of Russian diplomacy, the parties stated that the steps to intensify trade and investment cooperation produce results. “For the second consecutive year, increasing turnover, which last year approached $1.5 billion”, – he stressed.
Lavrov also recalled that “a few days ago came into force a new framework intergovernmental agreement on economic and technical cooperation, the implementation of which aims to help develop practical bilateral cooperation”. “We will continue to improve legal base of relations, – said the Minister. – We expect soon to start negotiating a draft intergovernmental agreement on social security, which covers, including issues of pension provision”.
“Speaking of our humanitarian ties, of course, expect the Portuguese fans to the world championship on football which will pass in June-July in Russia”, – concluded the head of the Russian foreign Ministry.