Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that while there are positive developments in bilateral relations with Germany, dictates from Brussels (and by extension, Washington) have precluded stronger economic and security ties between Russia and Europe.
In an interview with the Mir Interstate Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, Lavrov urged Europe to break free from the minority of hardliners who are working to pit Europe and Russia against each other:
The so-called aggressive minority is trying to maintain EU unity at all costs, whereas the principle of solidarity provides for looking for compromise between two extremes.And while Lavrov described Putin's recent meeting with Merkel as constructive, he made it clear that Russia is not a pupil of the West:
There are forces that are categorically against normalizing relations with Russia and also those who call for breaking out of the sanctions dead-end already now.
We hope that Europe will see that the era of a master-pupil relationship is long over.Lavrov's message is clear: Russia welcomes rapprochement with the West—but only as equal partners. This is non-negotiable.