President of the European Council Charles Michel held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was devoted to relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation. The dialogue between the two leaders took place on the eve of the meeting of the European Council, scheduled for March 25 and 26, the press service of the European Council reports.
“President Michel expressed the view that EU-Russia ties are at a low point and confirmed the EU's approach of the five guiding principles, based on the EU's core values. There is currently disagreement in many areas. From the EU perspective, the relationship with Russia can only take a different direction if there is sustained progress on issues like the implementation of the Minsk agreements, stopping hybrid and cyber-attacks on Member States and respect for human rights," the message says.
In this context, the issue of the Alexey Navalny case was raised. Charles Michel reiterated the EU's call for the Russian authorities to release Navalny and conduct a transparent investigation into the assassination attempt on him.
The EU and Russian leaders also exchanged views on the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccines and regional and global issues.
On March 22, it was reported that the European Union approved new sanctions against Russia, China and North Korea due to human rights violations.
Earlier the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas said that Russia can improve relations with Europe only by overcoming the conflict in the east of Ukraine.