Russian minister demands EU 'respect' in Eastern Europe

12th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

Moscow reacted angrily after the EU last month signed an agreement with Western-leaning Ukraine on badly needed investment in the country's pipeline network.

Moscow -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday insisted the European Union show "respect" and transparency in dealings with ex-Soviet states and criticised the bloc's policies on Ukraine.

"We're not asking for or demanding anything from our Western partners, including the EU, except an understandable, transparent policy on the CIS area, a policy based on principles of complementarity and respect for the legal interests of the countries of this area," Lavrov said, referring to ex-Soviet countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Lavrov was speaking at a foreign policy conference broadcast on television and went on to criticise a new agreement between Brussels and Ukraine on helping modernise the Ukrainian gas transit network at the centre of a dispute with Moscow in January.

Moscow reacted angrily after the EU last month signed an agreement with Western-leaning Ukraine on badly needed investment in the country's pipeline network.

Russia protested it was excluded from discussion of the plan, aimed at preventing a repeat of the gas cut-offs that affected several European countries in January.

"We have a problem with the way this partnership with the EU is developing," Lavrov said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

Recent discussions between the EU and Ukraine on the gas transit system "absolutely contradict decisions taken on how to deal with each other," he said.

He said a "fusion" was under way in Euro-Atlantic politics that provided an opportunity for cooperation between Russia and the West.

"This means a very sustainable convergence on a solid basis of the big coinciding interests of all Euro-Atlantic states currently facing global threats," he said.

AFP/Expatica

0 Comments To This Article