‘Not optimistic’ about EU-Russia ties after Juncker visit: Kremlin

  • Reuters, Moscow
  • Updated: May 30, 2016 16:03 IST
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker speaks during a press conference in Shima, central Japan. Juncker will be visiting Russia next month. (AP File Photo)

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s visit to Russia next month is unlikely to lead to a breakthrough in Russia’s strained relations with Europe but Moscow is always ready for dialogue, the Kremlin said on Monday.

“I would probably not be overly optimistic when it came to looking for signs of a breakthrough in every separate step (by the EU),” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

“(But) President (Vladimir) Putin has repeatedly spoken about his interest and of Moscow’s interest in leading and widening this kind of dialogue.”

A Commission spokesperson said on Monday that Juncker had agreed to participate in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 16, a move that may stir debate on the EU’s fraught relations with Moscow.

The visit comes at a time when the 28-nation bloc is reported to be preparing to renew sanctions it imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

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