NICOSIA (Sputnik) – On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin also commented on the poor state of Russia-EU ties during a meeting with the Italian prime minister, saying that they are "not normal" and are excessively politicized. He called for productive bilateral cooperation.
"We touched upon the present state of affairs between Russia and the European Union. This state is not satisfactory. We are interested in returning our dialogue to the normal, equal direction with mutual respect," Lavrov said during his visit to Cyprus.
Relations between Moscow and the West deteriorated in 2014 after Crimea voted to reunite with Russia and as military clashes escalated in eastern Ukraine. The European Union and the United States imposed numerous sanctions against Russia over Moscow's alleged role in the Ukrainian conflict, a claim Russia has repeatedly refuted as untrue.