Despite Russian desire for better communication, talks with West impeded by ‘manic insistence’ on sanctions focus, Kremlin says

Russia’s dialogue with the West is hindered by the obsession of the EU and US with talking about sanctions, according to the Kremlin, which added that the threat of coercive measures means Moscow remains constantly mobilized.

Speaking to reporters, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is attempting to establish a dialogue with the West, but never-ending discussions about economic restrictions are a roadblock.

“The conversation about sanctions, unfortunately, is going on in Brussels. It is going on in the US with absolute manic insistence,” he said on Tuesday when asked if Russia is ready for new actions by the West.

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“This is something we would not welcome. This is something we would not like.”

“On the other hand, the potential threat of such unfriendly behavior obliges us, of course, to be constantly mobilized and ready for such displays,” he added.

However, Moscow expects that the political will for dialogue will prevail, and the most complicated issues will end up being resolved.

On February 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow is ready to break off relations with Europe if new sanctions are imposed.

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“Our starting point is that we are ready,” he said. “If we see again, as we have seen several times before, that sanctions are being imposed in areas that create risks for our economy.”

Peskov later said that Lavrov’s words were taken out of context, and Russia still wants to develop a better relationship with the EU.

Earlier this month, six US senators introduced a bill to impose measures on those deemed by Washington to be “complicit in the poisoning and repression of citizens”. According to Marco Rubio, one of the authors, the bill would “impose targeted sanctions against Russian officials complicit in brazen violations of international law.”

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