EU must ‘draw consequences’ for Russia

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union’s (EU) top diplomat on Sunday said Russia was rejecting constructive dialogue with the EU and that Europe must draw the consequences, including the possibility of new sanctions.

In a blog post, Josep Borrell said the shock expulsion of three EU diplomats during his two-day visit to Moscow, showed that Russia “did not want to seize this opportunity to have a more constructive dialogue with the EU”.

The bloc “will have to draw the consequences” he wrote, insisting that “it will be for member states to decide the next steps, and yes, these could include sanctions”.

Borrell’s trip, which ended on Saturday, had been a controversial journey that divided the EU’s 27 member states, with France and Germany backing dialogue with the Kremlin. Other countries backed a harder line after the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and a crackdown on pro-Navalny protesters that has seen more than 10,000 people arrested.