A possible dialogue between the European Union and Moscow does not mean that these will be friendly talks, they should address problems in bilateral relations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday.
"I think there is some misunderstanding. When I say that I want the EU to speak with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin like US President [Joe Biden] speaks with Putin, in my view, this is not about friendly talks or a sign that we have good relations," Merkel said.
"But this is the recognition that we as Europe will be stronger if we stick to a single position and say: "Look, here a cyber attack was carried out and here is a hybrid war <...> and there Russia supports ultra-nationalist parties," the Chancellor said. According to her, the EU should tell Moscow that good cooperation requires solving these problems, TASS reports.
"I don’t think only the US president can do this, in my view, we are also strong," Merkel stated. "But we [in the EU] have some mistrust in each other. We should overcome this mistrust to be able to effectively defend our values and interests," she noted.
"Otherwise, President Putin won’t perceive us as seriously as this should be. I believe we have good reasons for criticizing Russia," Merkel said.
After a marathon discussion of Russia-related topics on June 24-25, the leaders of 27 EU nations failed to agree to an initiative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to organize a Russia-EU summit. Instead, according to the summit’s final statement, the EU leaders instructed EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to look at the possibility of arranging dialogue with Russia on separate topics of interest for the European Union and to explore options for further anti-Russian sanctions, including economic restrictions, to contain Russia’s future possible activities deemed by the EU as harmful.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, described as ‘illogical’ and ‘harmful’ the position of the Baltic states and Poland, which are amassing NATO forces on their territories while speculating about a Russian threat.