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Putin denounces 'confrontational' EU stance on Russia

Putin stressed that Russia was ready to "resume normal depoliticised" ties with the EU [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 March, 2021

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said the European Union had a "confrontational" stance after having had a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the EU's "confrontational" stance during a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel on Monday, ahead of a summit of EU leaders.

"Vladimir Putin gave an appraisal of the unsatisfactory state of Russia-EU ties which has emerged due to unconstructive, often confrontational policies of our partners," the Kremlin said in a strongly-worded statement.

Putin stressed that Russia was ready to "resume normal depoliticised" ties with the European Union if there's a will to do so in Brussels, the Kremlin said.

EU leaders meet for a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

Putin and Michel also discussed the fight against the coronavirus and potential use of Russia's homegrown vaccine Sputnik V as well as the situations in Ukraine and Belarus, the Kremlin statement said.

During the phone call, EU chief Charles Michel told Russian President Vladimir Putin that ties with Moscow had reached a "low point" and insisted it was up to the Kremlin to fix them, Brussels said.

"President Michel expressed the view that EU-Russia ties are at a low point," an EU statement said afterwards.

"The relationship with Russia can only take a different direction if there is sustained progress on issues like the implementation of the Minsk agreements (on Ukraine), stopping hybrid and cyber-attacks on member states and respect for human rights."

The call came after a top EU executive, Thierry Breton, said the European Union had no need for Sputnik V in remarks that Moscow said were "clearly biased".

The Kremlin is also facing a crisis in ties with the United States, with President Joe Biden describing Putin as a "killer" and rejecting his offer to hold public talks.

Moscow said Monday it regretted that Washington did not respond to Putin's proposal to organise public talks with the US leader.

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