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Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand: the current policy of the European Union in relations with Russia will continue

13.03.2016


During today’s meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels the discussion focused on the current status of relations between the European Union and Russia as well as relations with Iran and the situation in Libya.

EU foreign ministers discussed the fundamental principles of the relations between the European Union and Russia. EU Foreign Ministers believe we should continue the current policy of refraining from a high level communication until Russia starts implementing its international obligations. “Relations with Russia were complicated already before the Ukrainian conflict. The developments during the past years have demonstrated that Russia must be first and foremost be assessed based on its actions,” the Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand said. “Given the aggressive nature of Russia’s foreign policy and the discrepancy in our values, the current European policy must continue,” the Foreign Minister emphasised. According to Marina Kaljurand, the imposed restrictions have sent a clear message to Russia indicating the European Union will not tolerate the violation of the international law. The meeting of foreign ministers last focused on the relations between the European Union and Russia in January 2015. Following the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the European Union imposed a limited communication policy in its relations with Russia.

A dialogue with Russia is in principle possible regarding the particular matters necessary for resolving current international crises. According to the Foreign Minister Kaljurand, the Russian civil society needs more involvement and coordinated support by Europe.

The Estonian Foreign Minister also emphasised the importance of the strategic communication of the European Union. According to Kaljurand, the strategic communication unit established within the European External Action Service last year has been doing an efficient thankworthy job at disproving misinformation by Russia as well as improving communication in the Eastern Partnership countries.

Regarding relations with Iran, foreign ministers support developing cooperation primarily in fields of the economic and commercial policy and energy issues.  Foreign ministers discussed the role of Iran in the Middle East and the situation of human rights in Iran.

When talking about Libya,  EU foreign ministers together with the Special Representative of the UN Martin Kobler discussed options of contributing to the Libyan political process. The discussion involved possible restrictive measures for Libyan citizens accused of hindering the peace process.

Additional information:
Marika Post
Press spokesperson to the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
+372 637 7654
press@mfa.ee
www.vm.ee

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