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What will U.S. say? EU wants better ties with Russia

Staff Writer |
The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, aimed to improve the bloc's ties with Russia on her first official visit to Moscow since she took office in 2014.

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Ties between Russia and the West have deteriorated since early 2014, when Russia annexed neighbouring Ukraine's Crimea region.

Russia and the EU were strategic partners for many years, and the EU would like to restore those relations, Mogherini told reporters after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The top Russian diplomat agreed, saying dialogue between EU and Russian policymakers should occur on a regular basis, according to comments carried by state media.

At the start of their meeting, Lavrov expressed a similar sentiment, saying EU-Russian relations have been going through a difficult period.

"[W]e still aim to restore full collaboration with the EU, our large trade and economic partner," he said.

Ukraine was a focal point of Monday's talks, as well as the conflict in Syria. The talks took place as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov met UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura in Geneva.

The recent death of a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in eastern Ukraine exemplifies the urgency by which the conflict needs to be resolved, Mogherini said.

The EU expects a thorough investigation into the incident, Mogherini said. Lavrov agreed.

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