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Mikser disagrees with Juncker's view of Russia as neglected 'friend'

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE).
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE). Source: (Poola välisministeerium)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) said on Monday that European countries can't deal with Russia on equal terms, as the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, suggested in an interview with a Dutch paper.

"The strength of the European Union depends on democracy, the rule of law, and respecting essential rights. The fact that today's Russia doesn't share these basic values certainly limits the relationship Europe can have with the Kremlin," Mikser told ERR on Monday.

In an interview with Dutch paper Trouw, Juncker called Putin his "friend" and said that there can't be a European security agenda without Russia. "We need to restore our contacts with Russia," Juncker said. "Russia has a big role. There is no European security agenda without Russia. I don't like the current Cold War rhetoric," he added.

Mikser commented that there could be no mentioning of equal terms in Europe's dealings with Russia as long as the country's leaders don't respect the principles of international law.

"Europe needs to speak to Russia with strength, united, and from a principled position," Mikser said. "We need to speak of Russia honestly and without wishful thinking. I agree with Juncker that Russia plays an important role in European security, but unfortunately this role today is mostly negative," he added.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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