The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, will travel to Russia, arriving on the evening of Thursday 4 February and departing on Saturday 6 February. It will be the first visit to Russia by an EU High Representative/Vice-President since 2017.
The visit will provide an opportunity to have wide-ranging discussions with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian interlocutors ahead of the European Council’s strategic discussion on EU-Russia relations scheduled for March. High Representative Borrell will address Russia’s actions in Ukraine and in the neighbourhood, the importance of continued implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, among others. The recent poisoning, detention and arrest of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, and the concerns over fundamental freedoms and human rights in Russia more broadly will also be on his agenda.
During his visit, Josep Borrell will have meetings with representatives of Russian civil society organisations and members of the academic community in Moscow.
Ahead of the visit, Josep Borrell said: “The relationship with Russia is one of the EU’s most complex. Recent developments only serve to further underline the need for me to visit Moscow. But beyond the issues of contention there are also areas in which the EU and Russia do cooperate, or need to cooperate more, that require our urgent attention.”
Following their meeting on Friday 5 February, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Minister Lavrov will hold a joint press conference at 10:15 CET, which will be streamed live on Europe by Satellite (Ebs).