Recently a number of representatives of the European Union have made statements that Europe needs partnership and strategic cooperation with Russia. Today, this opinion was expressed at a press conference in Brussels, an official representative of the European Commission (EC) Margaritis Schinas, commenting on the statements of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
As reported by some mass media, Juncker said that the EU cannot obey the will of Washington in relations with Russia. Schinas evaded giving a direct answer to the question of whether the head of the EC actually said these words.
"Chairman Juncker said that firstly the United States has its own interests, and the EU should have its own strategic interests. Secondly, Europe needs Russia as a partner. He also said that we must clearly demonstrate Russia our position of those issues that we don’t like, as well as those that we like. Finally, he noted that we should continue a dialogue with Russia,’’ Tass cites Schinas.
According to Reuters, Juncker stressed that the EU must make an effort in order to cooperate with Russia on a practical basis, as it is impossible to remain in the relations that exist now.
‘‘It is not a surprising fact that the EU is aiming to return to fruitful cooperation with Russia,’’ senior research officer of the Center for European Studies (University) at the Moscow State University of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Olenchenko said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza.
"Indeed, the EU would like to get back to healthy relations with Russia. The point is that Juncker is a supporter of Europeanism, but his predecessor Jose Manuel Barroso stuck to Euro-Atlanticism. If you support Euro-Atlanticism you should focus on the US. As they stick to Europeanism, they believe that Europe has the right to have friendly relations with who they want. So I think that Juncker’s words are logical," the expert assumed.
On the contrary, the Deputy Dean of the Department of World Economy and International Relations of the HSE, Andrey Suzdaltsev, had a skeptical attitude towards Juncker's and Schinas's statements, explaining that Europe is primarily focused on the opinion of Washington.
"These statements don’t mean that Europe intends to ease the confrontation with Russia in the near future. The European Union should regulate the relations with the United States. It is not in this case independent. It is heavily influenced by Washington. And the US knows what to do in order to achieve their beneficial aims," he underlined.