The European Union hoped that the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, would arrange a “public flogging” for Russia during his visit to the country, but this did not work out. This was announced on February 9 by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.
Zakharova noted that the failed plans led to “hysteria” from Western partners. The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman noted that the Russian side wanted to discuss real problems and prospects of relations between Russia and the European Union, so Borrell was unable to fulfill his task.
“The task was to carry out this public flogging, which I think they planned very carefully. And such a cascade: talk about rallies, and talk about journalists, and make Navalny the main topic. Here all in one heap mix, dump and leave with a contented look home. It didn’t work, ”Zakharova said on the Vesti FM radio station.
Borrell’s visit to Moscow took place on February 4-6. The head of EU diplomacy met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
During a press conference in Moscow, Borrell said that relations between Moscow and Brussels were far from satisfactory, but diplomatic channels for exchanging views should remain open. In addition, he urged not to create a “wall of silence”.
However, upon returning to the EU, Borrell’s official statement on the results of his visit to Moscow was published, in which he, in particular, condemned the decision of the Russian authorities to expel diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden, said that Moscow was allegedly not ready to improve relations and threatened with new sanctions.
On February 8, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed surprise at how the head of European diplomacy assessed the results of his visit, since his assessment contrasts strongly with his own statements made after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.