Moscow [Russia], February 7 (ANI/Sputnik): EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Saturday concluded his visit to Moscow and said that the EU-Russian relations are far from satisfactory adding that diplomatic channels should remain open.
Borrell visited Moscow from January 4 to 6. During the visit, Borrell had a wide-ranging discussion on the EU-Russia relations and the global geopolitical landscape with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He also met with representatives of Russian civil society organizations.
"Diplomatic channels need to remain open, not only to de-escalate crises or incidents but to hold direct exchanges, deliver firm and frank messages, all the more so when relations are far from satisfactory. I will debrief my EU colleagues on the outcome of my visit at the Foreign Affairs Council on 22 February, where we will have a dedicated discussion on EU-Russia relations, ahead of the strategic debate on EU-Russia relations at the March European Council," Borrell said as quoted by the EU External Action Service.
The EU top diplomat also said that Brussels was concerned about the situation with human rights in Russia and reaffirmed the EU call to release Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who was sentenced by a court in Moscow to a 3.5-year prison term in a financial misdemeanor case.
Borrell also strongly condemned the decision of the Russian authorities to expel three European diplomats and rejected the allegations that "they conducted activities incompatible with their status as foreign diplomats." (ANI/Sputnik)