Russia-EU relations not in crisis - Lavrov
( Itar-Tass ) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed the assertions that the relations of Russia and the European Union are in crisis.
"Our relations are developing successfully, the 'road maps' are being implemented," he said at a conference of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs on Friday.
He said the "negative does not provide a full picture of economic relations; there are contradictions, but we are resolving them by the dialogue".
"Regular cooperation will become in the future one of priorities in the bilateral relations. Moscow is convinced that the EU and Russia are interdependent, and understanding this the European Union is steadily going to Russia," Lavrov said.
He said "it is necessary to build strategic, equal and mutually beneficial partnership with the EU".
Lavrov mentioned the "European Union's enlargement to the east".
"Few then understood consequences of this enlargement. I state the fact that Russia always positively met the EU's enlargement, unlike the enlargement of NATO; however, elements of mistrust have not disappeared, but strengthened. The enlargement of 2004 has led to the fact that the process of adoption of a new partnership and cooperation agreement has become more complex. There is a silver lining to every cloud, and the current pause should be maximally used for the preparation of the new document".
During its preparation " Moscow most attentively takes into account the opinion of Russian business", Lavrov said.
He expressed the hope that "business will come to a consolidated stance and will bring it to the leadership of Russia and the European Union".
Lavrov said the European Union's investment in the Russian economy had grown.
"The EU is our immediate neighbor; 52 percent of export fall at the EU, and about 70 percent of foreign capital in the Russian economy is European capital. Over the past seven years the volume of supplies of our oil to the European Union's counties has grown. Russia is currently in the second place."
At the same time, " Moscow cannot help noting voices in the EU that it is worthwhile to reduce supplies of Russia's energy resources to a minimum", he added.
This is not right, he said.
He stressed that the EU is not an "easy negotiator", adding that " Russia respects the ability of the EU to defend its positions".
"It is necessary to look for common interests, and we a ready for a substantive dialogue," Lavrov said.