Russia and EU need to improve dialogue, says minister

  • 2013-12-17
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Russia and the European Union must improve their dialogue, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has said.

The calls made during the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on Dec. 16 come EU's Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius last month.

Rinkevics expressed satisfaction over the initialing of Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova and called for signing the agreements as soon as possible already in 2014.

It is also important to support those Eastern Partnership countries that are interested in visa liberalization with the EU, the minister said. 

Support was also express for Ukraine's course of euro integration.

"It is vital to find solutions to the complicated political situation, which are to be achieved in the government's direct talks with the opposition and civic society. Violence against peaceful demonstrators cannot be tolerated and is in contradiction with European values," said the minister.

EU foreign ministers, during their conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, discussed EU-Russia relations and outlined the main directions of preparations for the EU-Russia Summit. Rinkevics stressed the need for Russia and the EU to improve their mutual dialogue.

The minister pointed to successful examples in EU-Russia relations: cooperation in Afghanistan, dealing with the issue of Iran's nuclear program, and destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. The minister invited Lavrov to also cooperate with the EU in Central Asia..