|Author (Corporate)||Cardiff EDC|
|Content Type||Blog & Commentary, News, Overview|
Information Guide concerning the visit of the European Union's High-Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell to Russia on 4-6 February 2021 and its aftermath.
The visit took place in a context of tense relations between the European Union (EU) and Russia, framed by a number of unresolved geopolitical matters, regional instability and the existence of a range of sanctions. Russia's internal political situation was one of increasing protests following the return of main opposition leader Alexei Navalny to the country - after recovering from a poisoning attempt - and his imprisonment. The timing of this visit also coincided with a decision by Russian authorities to expel a number of European diplomats.
Mr Borrell's visit was an attempt at easing tension and launching a pathway for renewed engagement between the two sides. The EU's representative held wide-ranging discussions with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and also met with representatives of Russian civil society organisations, including NGOs facing restrictions on their work as a result of Russian legislation.
Media outlets and analysts highlighted the lack of success of this visit, not least due to Mr Borrell's incapacity to react to harsh words directed at the European Union by Mr Lavrov during a joint press conference. Upon his return, Mr Borrell was summoned for a debate at the European Parliament on the outcome of his visit to Russia. Mr Lavrov later made public remarks on the demise of the relations between Russia and the EU.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Subject Tags||Bilateral Relations|
|Keywords||EU External Action
|Countries / Regions||Russia|
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|