Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Russia rejects constructive dialogue with EU’



‘Russia rejects constructive dialogue with EU’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell (left) and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY/AFP

‘Russia rejects constructive dialogue with EU’

The EU’s top diplomat on February 7 said Russia was rejecting constructive dialogue with the EU and that Europe must draw the consequences, including the possibility of new sanctions.

In a blog post, Josep Borrell said the shock expulsion of three EU diplomats during his two-day visit to Moscow, showed that Russia “did not want to seize this opportunity to have a more constructive dialogue with the EU”.

The bloc “will have to draw the consequences” he wrote, insisting that “it will be for member states to decide the next steps, and yes, these could include sanctions”.

Borrell’s trip, which ended on February 6, had been a controversial journey that divided the EU’s 27 member states, with France and Germany backing dialogue with the Kremlin.

Other countries backed a harder line after the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and a crackdown on pro-Navalny protesters that has seen more than 10,000 people arrested in recent weeks.

Borrell’s trip took a negative turn when Moscow expelled diplomats from Poland, Germany and Sweden just hours after he met with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss ties.

The former Spanish foreign minister described the trip as “very complicated” and said he returned to Brussels “with deep concerns”.

“It seems that Russia is progressively disconnecting itself from Europe and looking at democratic values as an existential threat,” he said.

Borrell, whose views do not necessarily represent the 27, defended his visit arguing that criticising Russia from a distance “will not bring greater security to the EU”.

“We have to face challenges, including meeting others in their home turf, just when negative events are unfolding” in order to better assess the action to take.

“If we want a safer world for tomorrow, we have to act decidedly today and be ready to take some risks,” he said.

Borrell will debrief his trip to foreign ministers from the 27 member states on February 22 and EU leaders will discuss their strained ties with Moscow at a summit next month.

Drawing up EU sanctions are strictly up to the members states and require unanimity among the 27.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Covid in Kingdom hits ‘critical point’

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia has reached a critical point, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned, as cases surge with two more deaths and 265 infections reported over the weekend. On March 28 alone, the Ministry of Health recorded 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian