Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday (23 March) there were no more relations between his country and the EU, blaming Brussels for “destroying mechanisms built over years”. He made the comments during a visit to China, marking a further Russia-China rapprochement.
“There are no relations with the European Union as an organisation. The entire infrastructure of these relations has been destroyed by the unilateral decisions of Brussels,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by the Moscow Times, during a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
He said that Moscow only had relations with individual EU nations now.
“If Europe broke off these relations — simply destroying all the mechanisms that had been built over many years — and we have only individual European countries that want to be guided by their national interests, then this probably objectively leads to the fact that our relations with China are developing faster than what is left of relations with European countries,” Lavrov further said at the conference in the Chinese city of Guilin.
“On the Western front there are no changes, but in the East there is an intensive agenda which grows richer every year,” he said, as quoted by Reuters.
Lavrov and Wang Yi said they wanted a summit of permanent members of the UN Security Council amid what they called heightened political turbulence, with Moscow saying they both believed the United States was acting in a destructive way.
The two allies, whose relations with the West are under increasing strain, made the call for a summit in a joint statement after talks between their foreign ministers in the city of Guilin.
“At a time of increasing global political turbulence, a summit of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council is particularly necessary to establish direct dialogue about ways to resolve humankind’s common problems in the interests of maintaining global stability,” they said in a statement published on the Russian foreign ministry’s website.
Moscow has long been pushing for such a summit.
The statement did not mention the United States by name. But Lavrov said that Moscow and Beijing were both unhappy with US behaviour.
“We noted the destructive nature of US intentions, relying on the military-political alliances of the Cold War era and creating new closed alliances in the same spirit, to undermine the UN-centered international legal architecture,” said Lavrov.
“We emphasised that against the background of active attempts by the West to promote its concept of a ‘rules-based world order’, the joint efforts of Russia and China…to preserve the modern system of international law are becoming more and more relevant.”
Both countries’ ties with Washington are strained.
US and Chinese officials on Friday concluded what Washington called “tough and direct” talks in Alaska, while Russia’s ambassador is back in Moscow for talks after US President Joe Biden said he believed President Vladimir Putin was a killer.
Kicking off his two-day trip to China on Monday, Lavrov issued a call for Moscow and Beijing to reduce their dependence on the US dollar.
Tuesday’s joint statement urged other countries to refrain from interfering in the domestic affairs of Russia and China.
Lavrov said Russia and China regarded European and Western sanctions as unacceptable.
On Monday, the United States, European Union, Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on a handful of Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Russia too is braced for a new round of US sanctions over what Washington says was its meddling in the 2020 US presidential election, which Moscow denies.