07:28 GMT22 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union wants to maintain communication with Russia and expand cooperation on issues that are of mutual interest, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Tuesday in a press release.

    "As illustrated by the phone call, the High Representative reiterated that the European Union wishes to maintain open channels of communication with Russia and to enhance cooperation on issues of mutual interest. The European Union will continue to defend its interests and values, including respect for international law and fundamental rights," the press release read.

    Earlier in the day, Borrell spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The conversation concerned, among other topics, the situation with Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, whom the EU believes to have been poisoned. Borrell informed Lavrov that the EU was preparing to impose sanctions on people it thought to be behind the poisoning.

    Borrell and Lavrov discussed the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Borrell "thanked Minister Lavrov for his efforts in negotiating the 10 October ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan and stressed the need for this ceasefire to be strictly observed."

    Regarding Belarus, Borrell called on Russia as an OSCE member to support the organization's proposal to mediate the national dialogue in Belarus. Borrel told Lavrov that the EU Foreign Affairs Council had backed the idea of new sanctions against Belarus, which would target President Alexander Lukashenko.

    Josep Borrell, cooperation, dialogue, EU, Russia
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