MOSCOW - The newly elected European Union institutions can help reset EU-Russia relations, Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said at a reception dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Russia-EU relations.
"I am absolutely positive that the new institutional cycle, which started in the EU exactly ten days ago, could make us witness to a new beginning in our relations, which will be mature, smart, and based on mutual respect, considering our previous experience," Chizhov said at the reception given by the Russian mission to the European Union on Tuesday.
The former Soviet Union and the European Communities signed an agreement on trade and commercial and economic cooperation on December 18, 1989.
Present day relations between Russia and the European Union cannot be called normal, Chizhov said.
"The most unnatural, poisonous factor is the unilateral, anti-Russian restrictions imposed by the European Union in March 2014 and repeatedly expanded afterwards," he said.
At the same time, "Russia and the EU are still dependent on one another," Chizhov said, adding that the EU accounts for almost half of Russia's trade turnover, that European businesses continue to invest in the Russian economy, that Russian citizens are leading in terms of Schengen visas issued, that numerous joint projects are underway in the fields of culture, education, and science, and that border cooperation is on the rise.
"Brussels is coming to realize slowly but surely that it would not be easy, if not impossible, for Russia and Europe to live and develop without one another," he said.
It would be shortsighted to keep Russia-EU "interaction in a semi-frozen state," Chizhov said, noting that Russia's dialogue with certain EU member states is gaining momentum.
"It is impossible to solve a single, significant international problem without Russia, and the tasks we are pursuing on the world stage have much in common," he said.
The economies of Russia and the EU are mutually supplementary, and the synergy potential of Russia and the EU or, in a broader sense, the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union, could open new vistas for mutual development amid intensifying global competition, Chizhov said.