The European Union has “destroyed” its relationship with Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, in the wake of new EU sanctions against Moscow.
“There are no relations with the European Union as an organization. The entire infrastructure of these relations has been destroyed by unilateral decisions made by Brussels,” the top Russian diplomat said while on a trip to China.
Lavrov said the EU-wide approach to Russian foreign policy was gone, and all that was left were individual European partner countries guided by their own national interests.
The foreign minister has often lamented the state of EU-Russia relations, but his comments while in China were particularly cutting.
One consequence of the EU’s aggressive actions is that Russia’s bonds with China were strengthening, Lavrov said at a joint news conference with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
Still, Lavrov left the door open to Brussels: He said if the EU made a positive overture, then Moscow would respond in kind.
Brussels recently imposed a raft of sanctions on Moscow over the poisoning of now-imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as well as a massive hacking attack on the German parliament in 2015.
Lavrov was in southern China for two days of consultations with the foreign minister.
China was hit by EU sanctions on Monday for abuses against the Uighur people, the first time the bloc has issued restrictive measures on Beijing for human rights violations since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.