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Vice-President of the European Commission to visit Russia


Vice-President of the European Commission to visit Russia

Josep Borrell Russia
Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell will visit Moscow today to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The conference comes amidst protests across Russia following the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which has led top European executives to reconsider EU-Russia relations. Even though some EU states disapprove of the controversial visit, Borrell believes that in-person contact is a crucial opportunity for the EU as it requests the Kremlin revisit its foreign policy.

In today’s meeting, along with other issues, Borrell will stress the situation in Crimea, as Brussels strongly condemns Moscow’s civil rights violations in the region. The EU perceives Russia’s occupation of Crimea as a threat to the EU’s interests as Ukraine, a prominent EU candidate, counts on the bloc’s diplomatic support in the hopes of regaining control of its territory. Moscow is unlikely to abide by the calls of the EU in order to maintain its military dominance in the Black sea. As a mutual agreement in the short term looks unachievable, alternative approaches from the EU, such as the extension of the economic sanctions on Russia’s energy sectors, seem inevitable. Moscow in return will attempt to retaliate by reducing its agricultural imports from Europe.

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