Russia will be ready to sever economic relations with the European Union if the EU re-imposes sanctions against the most vulnerable sectors of the Russian economy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said so in an interview with Vladimir Solovyov.
“We are ready for that,” Lavrov said, responding to a journalist’s question about Moscow’s reaction to new sanctions against Russia being discussed in the EU. He added that the EU had already imposed sanctions more than once, which “created risks for the Russian economy, including in its most sensitive areas.” “We do not want to isolate ourselves from the world, but we need to be ready for it. If you want peace, prepare for war,” Lavrov added.
Later, the Russian Foreign Ministry commented on Lavrov’s statement. They explained that Russia would be ready for a rupture of economic relations with the EU if the EU initiates such a rupture. The Foreign Ministry added that for its part Moscow is ready for equal and mutually respectful cooperation with Brussels, the media reported.
A spokesman for the Russian president Dmitry Peskov also commented on the minister’s statement about breaking off relations. He explained that Russia does not want to break off relations with Europe, but if the EU goes this way, Russia is ready for such developments.
Recall that in early February Lavrov met in Moscow with European Union diplomatic chief Josep Borrell, who noted that relations between the country and the union were currently at their lowest level. The EU did not rule out new sanctions against Russia after the arrest of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny. Then Lavrov commented that for Russia the EU remains not the most reliable partner, at least at this stage. He then called the imposition of new sanctions a personal matter of the European Union.