Russia's election behavior will show its readiness for EU dialogue – Lithuanian formin

  • 2021-03-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Russian authorities' behavior during the Duma election in the fall will show whether Moscow is ready for dialogue with the European Union, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis says.

"If protesters are not detained in the streets, are not put in jails, trialed in mock trials, opposition parties are allowed to take part in the elections, observers, are allowed to observe, these will be the signs that Russia is willing to participate in the discussion with the EU. (...) We should give Russia a chance," Landsbergis told a remote press conference in Berlin on Wednesday.

The EU plans to discuss its policy towards Russia during the Foreign Council and the European Council in late March.

According to German Foreign Council Heiko Mass, the EU-Russian relations "are in low", adding that event questions that "might be less problematic, but still pose way challenges", for example, climate change.

Germany is also interested in maintaining dialogue with Russia as it takes part in making decisions on international policy issues, Maas said.

"We want to have dialogue with Russia when it comes to topics such as Iran, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, we are sitting at one table. We are interested in having dialogue. Dialogue requires two parties, many efforts to establish a dialogue over the recent months, however, were taken not well by Russia," he said.

Besides Russia, Lithuanian-German bilateral relations, relations with China, the situation in the Eastern neighborhood and the security situation in the region were also discussed during the ministerial meeting.