Pushkov: EU-Russian relations beginning to thaw (9)
Relations between the EU and Russia over the conflict in Ukraine have began to climb out of the lowest ebb, says Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee.
Pushkov's remarks could point to the Kremlin softening its stance on the West ahead of the 70th end of World War II celebrations, Reuters reported.
Pushkov, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, has been an outspoken critic of Western sanctions against Russia and has commented on the Estonian-Russian border treaty ratification process, saying in November that the current political climate is not speeding up the ratification.
“Europe is increasingly ready to restart cooperation with Russia, not only on Ukraine but also other international matters,” he said, adding that the EU should look beyond the events in Ukraine and not everything can be reduced to the Ukraine crisis.
Putin himself has also toned down his criticism, recently saying Washington and Moscow should work together on matters of mutual interest, a though echoed by Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister.