MOSCOW - The European Union gave an awkward and worst possible reaction to the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force, in the U.S. airstrike, head of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachyov said.
"Brussels has so far chosen, in my view, the worst of all possible reactions," Kosachyov wrote on his Facebook account.
He commented thus on reports that the EU has sent Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif an invitation to visit Brussels to hold talks on the situation in the Middle East following the U.S. airstrikes.
"Meanwhile, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said he is 'concerned' by Gen. of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Qassem Soleimani's killing. In my view, it is quite an awkward initiative that looks like calling him [Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif] on the carpet," the Russian senator said.
Brussels had two other "more responsible options in this highly volatile situation," he said.
The U.S. secretary of state could have been invited to Brussels and this could have been made clear to him that by undertaking "reckless actions Washington put its European and regional allies in an extremely complicated situation (to say the least), or Josep Borrell could have been sent to Tehran if the EU wants so much to act as a peacemaker," Kosachyov said. "At least, this would look decent," the head of the Federation Council committee said.
It was reported on Friday that Soleimani and Iraqi Shiite militia deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis had been killed in Baghdad in an operation conducted by U.S. troops acting on President Donald Trump's orders.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later vowed that Soleimani's death would not be left without retaliation.