In the face of mounting tensions between Moscow and Brussels, a top EU official has been pushing for the start of a dialogue on economic sanctions to begin soon.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, European Commission President Jyrki Katainen said the EU was ready to set up a dialogue between the EU and Russia on a broad range of issues in the face, among others, of a possible invasion of Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.
The talks have been on hold since Russia annexed Crimea last year, which has since been the target of the EU’s economic sanctions.
Russia’s foreign ministry on Wednesday called the EU proposals “absurd” and said they would not make the region safer.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said it will respond to any economic sanctions that are imposed on Russia through the bloc’s budget.
Katainens comments come amid increasing tensions between the European Union and Russia, as the bloc prepares to hold its annual trade talks with the Russian bloc in July.