The relations between the European Union and Russia are not improving, tensions are rising in various areas, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said Monday in a video address ahead of an informal online conference of the EU foreign affairs ministers.
"All in all, the relations with Russia are not improving. On the contrary, the tension is increasing in various areas," Borrell said. "There are two blocks [to be discussed at the talks]. First, the issues related to Russia." "We are starting with the Czech expulsion of Russian diplomats. We will be informed by our Czech colleague," he added.
"[We will also discuss] the situation on the Ukrainian border with the deployment of Russian troops. It is a very dangerous situation, and we call on Russia to withdraw their troops from the Ukrainian border," he underscored, pointing out that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba was invited to share Kiev’s view on the current situation with the EU foreign ministers, TASS reports.
The top EU diplomat also highlighted that the health condition of Russian blogger Alexei Navalny, who is serving his time in prison in the Yves Rocher case, would be raised at the meeting. "Yesterday, we issued a statement on behalf of the 27 member states, asking the Russian authorities to provide the healthcare he needs, they are responsible for his safety," Borrell added.