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ForMin Aurescu: "discussion on a more strategic EU approach to Russia was needed”

Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Monday, ahead of a meeting of Foreign Affairs ministers of the EU Member States, that a "discussion on a more strategic EU approach to Russia was needed."

"Of course we will discuss sanctions today and, as far as I know from my fellow foreign ministers of the Member States, there is a considerable majority in support of the adoption of new sanctions," Aurescu said.

"In the long run, we need to be more united, we need to work better together among the Member States, we need to show unity. We also need to work better with the European institutions and coordinate with our partners, especially the United States. I also think that there is a need for a discussion on a more strategic EU approach to Russia. We have the five basic principles, adopted in 2016, which are a minimum basis for the EU's relationship with Russia, but I think it is not enough, I think we need more, I believe we need more, I believe it is the right time to discuss the adoption of a strategy on the relationship between the EU and Russia," the head of the Romanian diplomacy explained.

Bogdan Aurescu said that on Sunday evening he met with other fellow ministers from the European Union, with representatives of the staff of Russian opponent Alexei Navalny to talk "about the human rights situation in Russia, about the adoption of new sanctions in relation to human rights" .

"We also talked about how the EU could better support democratic civil society in Russia and, in my opinion, the EU needs to strengthen its support for civil society and communication with the Russian public in general," the foreign minister said. .

He went on to say that Romania suggested including the issue of conflicts in the Black Sea region on the agenda of a future Foreign Affairs Council.