First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Vesna Pusic is attending today a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. The EU foreign ministers are to discuss, among other issues, the Ukrainian crisis and relations with Russia.
Asked ahead of the meeting what kind of relations with Russia could be expected in the future, Pusic said they were bound to improve, adding that two positions could be anticipated at today’s meeting. “One is that talks with Russia should commence immediately, that some of the sanctions should be softened, and the other no talks are to be launched, let alone alleviate sanctions,” Pusic said.
In a response to what Croatia’s position would be, Pusic said: “We will advocate talks and a clear definition of the Minsk agreement which Russia is expected to abide by, including correct parameters of the cessation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The accomplishment of those goals should be a prerequisite for gradual alleviation of the sanctions, given that they have been imposed in order to make sure that the conflict calms down and peace is established."
Asked whether the sanctions had served their purpose, Pusic said that they had some effects on Russia but had not helped defuse the situation in Ukraine and that the Minsk agreement should be fully implemented.
As for the fight against terrorism, Pusic said Europe had demonstrated unity and readiness to develop a joint strategy and cooperation.