© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
Russia is ready to normalize relations with the EU as profoundly as the EU itself is ready for this, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told reporters on Tuesday upon the completion of Russia-EU consultations at the level of political directors.

Representing the EU was the Deputy Secretary General of External Action Service for political issues, Jean-Christoffe Belliard. Meshkov stressed a professional and fruitful character of the consultations.

"It has become quite traditional for our two sides over the part two to one-and-a-half years to embed a certain share of negativism in the discussions of the problems of Russian-EU collaboration," he said. "But today I'm satisfied with our talks."

"The discussion was really useful, as we put aside the traditional clich·s with an exchange of barbs and spent almost four hours discussing all the issues of common interest - Syria, Moldova and Ukraine," Meshkov said.

"Both sides are set for positive results now and they have the understanding we can't and shouldn't continue sliding into the abyss of a standoff," he said. "This became the keynote of the whole meeting."

"We're not in a habit of saying the words of praise to each other, but I did like the dialogue I had here with my opposite number today," Meshkov went on. "No one expected we'd reach agreement on everything within several hours."

"Russia is prepared for normalization of relations with the EU (...) but still we're not asking anyone about anything," he said. "We declare our principled positions that we find to be correct."

"We think Russia is making a considerable contribution to Europe's energy security and Europe does need our natural gas if it wants to continue developing," Meshkov said. "We're prepared to supply it rather than spouting out the political escapades that tarnish business.