French Foreign Minister Admits 'Need To Preserve Dialogue With Russia'

French Foreign Minister Admits 'Need to Preserve Dialogue With Russia'

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 23rd February, 2021) French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the Monday meeting of EU foreign ministers that dialogue with Moscow needs to be maintained.

"The minister called for the European Union to adopt a firm and united response [with regard to the Navalny situation], also taking into account support for civil society and the need to preserve channels of dialogue with Russia," the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement after the Brussels meeting.

Earlier on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the bloc had agreed to expand sanctions against Moscow over the situation with Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny during the meeting of EU foreign ministers.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the EU foreign ministers' decision on new sanctions against Russia was "disappointing." The ministry added that unlawful and absurd calls to release Navalny were unacceptable.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said ahead of the Monday EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting that although relations between Russia and the European Union "have reached the lowest level," the two sides should keep trying to find ways to maintain dialogue.