DAVOS (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — Europe has no interest whatsoever in there being any tensions in its relations with Russia, and the implementation of the Minsk accords could significantly improve the situation, the former head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, told Sputnik on Friday.
"We in Europe would like to have a normal constructive relation[ship] with Russia. We have no interest at all in having problems with Russia. Russia is our neighbor and it will always be our neighbor, it is a very important country with a great civilization. In more pragmatic terms it is a very important supplier of energy to Europe," Barroso said.
He added that respect of the Minsk agreements is the basis for improving relations with Russia.
"If there is a change in the situation regarding that problem, I think progressively it would be possible to come back to a more normal relationship between Russia and Europe. I wish that happens, sincerely," Barroso pointed out.
Relations between Russia and the European Union went downhill in 2014 when Brussels joined Washington in accusing Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis, imposing several rounds of sanctions against it.
The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive. In response to the Western restrictive measures, Russia announced a one-year food embargo on products originating in states that imposed sanctions against it, in August 2014. The ban has since been extended.