The Russian government seriously considers cutting the ties with the EU. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained this as a countermove, a response to the ongoing policy of EU sanctions.
"We don't want to isolate ourselves from world affairs, but we have to be prepared for that," the Minister said in the recent interview, as quoted by the BBC.
The dispute is going on between the Western bloc and the Kremlin, as Putin's rival amd major opposition figure Alexei Navalny was sentenced to prison term.
"In the past week Russia and the EU have expelled three of each other's diplomats in a tit-for-tat dispute centering on the Navalny case. Russia went first, a week ago, saying three EU diplomats had attended an illegal pro-Navalny protest - an allegation rejected by the EU. The Russian announcement came during a visit by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell. This week the EU countries involved - Germany, Poland and Sweden - expelled three Russian diplomats", reads the story.
Borrell sent Russia a clear signal that new sanctions might follow soon. During his Tuesday speech at the European Parliament, he claimed that he could "put forward concrete proposals". The next meeting of EU foreign ministers, where they are supposed to discuss further sanctions against Russia is slated for February 22.