07:32 GMT +324 October 2019
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    Briefing of the Russian Foreign Minister S. Lavrov

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    The foreign minister's speech came after German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a statement that the country is not interested in new anti-Russia sanctions, as they were imposed for political reasons, stressing that it is necessary to work to change them.

    According to the head of the Russian foreign policy, Moscow is ready for cooperation with the European Union and want to regard the bloc as a united and strong partner.

    On EU Sanctions Over Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons

    EU sanctions over the use of chemical weapons are outside the framework of the international law as their criteria is based on the Paris initiative rather than on the standards of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday.

    "This is all outside the framework of the international law. The Chemical Weapons Convention is the international law. I mean that the EU is also tempted to go outside the structures where it is necessary to negotiate with the whole world," Lavrov stressed.

    According to Lavrov, the Paris initiative has nothing to do with the framework of work at the United Nations, or with the Chemical Weapons Convention, but calls for creation of "partnerships" outside the universal structures that would be able to designate "the guilty parties" and ask other EU members to support sanctions against them.

    Earlier, a source in Brussels told Sputnik that the EU had prolonged individual sanctions against Russia over Ukraine for six months and added eight more names to the sanctions list over the Kerch incident involving Ukrainian ships in November.

    Moreover, earlier this month, France and Germany reportedly reached a compromised deal concerning EU-wide management related to Nord Stream 2, with the agreement specifying that Berlin itself would be able to define the rules under which the project will work.

    On Russia-Japan Relations

    Russia's relations with Japan need to be brought to a qualitatively new level, including in the area of security, this is a priority, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a briefing for representatives of the Association of European Businesses.

    "The agreement of [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin and [Japanese] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe is that it is important for us to bring our relations to a qualitatively new level. This is number one priority. Both in the economy, in politics, and in the sphere of security," Lavrov said.

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