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Newsline: Top EU diplomat accuses Russia of not taking Europe seriously

A top diplomat from the European Union has accused Russia of not taking Brussels seriously and said it will likely backfire against Moscow. The EU has grown increasingly frustrated for being left out of official talks with Russia. Last week, Russian officials met their U.S. counterparts and had discussions with NATO members. Although some EU countries are also members of NATO, top EU diplomats have not been included in these direct talks with Moscow. The EU has thus far tried to ease tensions with Russia by meeting Ukrainian officials, and speaking regularly with the United States through some of its member states, namely Germany. Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign affairs minister, visited Moscow on Tuesday, for example, where she met with her counterpart Sergey Lavrov. When asked if Russia takes the EU seriously, Stefano Sannino, secretary general of the European external action service, the diplomatic service of the EU, said: “No, it doesn’t.” The relationship between the EU and Russia has soured since 2014. Their ties hit a new low last year when Lavrov claimed the EU was an “unreliable partner,” with Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, standing right beside him at a press conference. “This is a choice that they [Russia] have made, but it will run contrary [to] their own interest, in the sense that they are dreaming of a multipolar world which is done by the United States, Russia and China. And unfortunately, the world is more complex with that,” Sannino said Wednesday. (https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/20/top-eu-diplomat-accuses-russia-of-not-taking-europe-seriously.html) The European Union, which brings together 27 nations, is often criticized for its lengthy and bureaucratic way of policy making. In many matters, a consensus is needed for laws to be implemented.

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