MainMain

Putin: No unresolvable problems between Russia, EU

Russia's leader says Moscow spares no efforts to"establish dialogue with the EU in the spirit of equality and genuine partnership".

The relations between Russia and the EU contain "no problems that cannot be solved", the odious President of Russia Vladimir Putin wrote in his article for the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, that was made public ahead of his visit to Greece, scheduled for 27 May.

"Russia proceeds from the need to establish dialogue with the EU in the spirit of equality and genuine partnership on a variety of issues ranging from visa liberalization to the formation of an energy alliance. However, we do not yet see our European colleagues’ willingness to follow such a mutually beneficial and promising path. Nevertheless, we believe that our relations with the EU do not face any problems that we cannot solve. To get back to a multifaceted partnership, the deficient approach of one-sided relationships should be abandoned. There should be true respect for each other’s opinions and interests," Putin wrote in his article.

In the opinion of Kremlin leader, the world community should draw appropriate conclusions from the events in Ukraine and proceed to establishing, in the vast space stretching between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, a zone of economic and humanitarian cooperation based on the architecture of equal and indivisible security". Putin pointed out that Europe is facing "increased competition from other power centers of the contemporary world". He cited Sochi, where at the recent ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit in Sochi "we had meaningful discussions with our partners on pressing international issues, the prospects for integration projects and enhanced cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region."

"Apparently, a rightful position of the Old Continent in the new international realities can only be secured by combining capacities of all European countries, including Russia," Putin wrote.

He singled out the cooperation of Russia and Greece in the energy sphere: "We have been consistently advocating the diversification of energy transportation modes that would improve the reliability of supplies and, therefore, European energy security as a whole Russia has ensured regular and reliable natural gas supplies to Greece for two decades.

"The existing contract with Greece was extended up to 2026 on favorable terms for your country," he reminded. The RF president also says Russia seeks help to streamline the Greek transport infrastructure. "We are referring to the participation of Russian business entities in the forthcoming Greek tenders for the purchase of assets of railway companies."

During the two-day visit Putin is planned to discuss trade and investment cooperation issues with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Earlier today, EU Council President Donald Tusk said he was "quite sure" that the bloc will renew its economic sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine in the next two or three weeks "without huge discussions."