MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s foreign minister warned Tuesday that Moscow could freeze its contacts with the European Union in response to its sanctions over the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny – an unprecedented threat that reflects a bitter Russia-EU strain.
The tough statement from Sergey Lavrov comes a day after the EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions on Russian officials and organizations blamed for Navalny’s poisoning with a Soviet-era nerve agent.
“We probably simply have to temporarily stop talking to those people in the West who are responsible for foreign policy and don’t understand the need for mutually respectful dialogue,” Lavrov said at a foreign policy conference attended by experts in Moscow.
He specifically pointed at European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s recent statements ruling out a partnership with Russia, saying that scenario will play out if that’s what the EU wants.
“Russia wants to understand whether it’s possible to do any business with the