Putin Denounces ‘Confrontational’ EU Stance on Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with government officials via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on Monday. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AFP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the EU’s “confrontational” stance during a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel on Monday, ahead of a summit of EU leaders.

“Vladimir Putin gave an appraisal of the unsatisfactory state of Russia-EU ties which has emerged due to unconstructive, often confrontational policies of our partners,” the Kremlin said in a strongly worded statement.

Putin stressed that Russia was ready to “resume normal depoliticized” ties with the European Union if there’s a will to do so in Brussels, the Kremlin said.

EU leaders meet for a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

Putin and Michel also discussed the fight against the coronavirus and potential use of Russia’s homegrown vaccine Sputnik V as well as the situations in Ukraine and Belarus, the Kremlin statement said.

The call came after a top EU executive, Thierry Breton, said the European Union had no need for Sputnik V in remarks that Moscow said were “clearly biased”.

The Kremlin is also facing a crisis in ties with the United States, with President Joe Biden describing Putin as a “killer” and rejecting his offer to hold public talks.

Moscow said Monday it regretted that Washington did not respond to Putin’s proposal to organize public talks with the US leader.

© Agence France-Presse

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