Estonian member of the European Parliament Urmas Paet (Reform) has described the visit by the European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to Moscow as a complete failure and said that if not anything else, the visit should result in the cancelation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which runs counter to the EU's energy policy.
"After yesterday's fiasco in Moscow and the fact that Russia attempted to do everything to humiliate the European Union, the level of naivete towards Russia should be at a low point in Europe for some time. Presumably, Borrell will never go to Russia again," Paet told BNS on Saturday.
"On Tuesday, the plenary of the European Parliament will discuss what happened yesterday. Hopefully, the governments of European Union member states and the European Commission will make rapid conclusions as well. Including about the addition of the names of human rights violators to the list of persons subject to sanctions and the discontinuation Nord Stream 2, which is in contradiction with Europe's energy policy," Paet said.
Another Estonian MEP, Riho Terras (Isamaa), on Friday described Borrell's visit to Moscow as a "master class in pandering to Russia," which is undermining everything that has been done as is planned to be done to call Russia to order.
During Borrell's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russia announced the expulsion of German, Polish and Swedish diplomats, who allegedly had taken part in a demonstration in support of jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in January.
Sweden has described the move by Russia as absolutely unjustified.
The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that an unspecified number of diplomats from the three EU countries took part in "illegal demonstrations" on January 23 and had been declared persona non grata.
"They were ordered to leave Russia in the near future," the ministry said, adding that Moscow expects diplomats from the countries to "strictly follow the norms of international law" in the future.
Russian police have arrested over 10,000 people at the demonstrations in support of Navalny held throughout the country.
Editor: Helen Wright