MINSK, November 18 (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed hope Tuesday that the "point of no return" in relations between Russia and the European Union has not yet been reached.
"We hope that the point of no return has not been reached. We consider — and always have — the European Union to be a large and important trade and economic partner, and we are interested in progressive development in cooperation on an equal and mutually profitable basis," Lavrov said during a joint session with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in Minsk.
"We are calling upon the European Commission to start forming a united economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean based on the principles of security integrity, including forthcoming negotiations on the creation of a free-trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union," the minister stressed.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed and ratified in May an agreement to create the Eurasian Economic Union, starting from January 1, 2015. On October 10 a treaty on Armenia joining to the Union was signed.
Relations between Russia and the European Union deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine when the West accused Russia of its alleged support for the independence fighters in the Ukraine's southeast. In retaliation the West imposed several round of sanctions on Russia that targeted a number of high-ranking officials as well as banking, defense and energy sectors.