MOSCOW, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Future cooperation between Moscow and the European Union depends on the EU's attitude towards essential bilateral issues, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
Speaking at a meeting of the Association of European Business, Lavrov said the EU was holding back bilateral cooperation on a number of thorny issues, including visas, trade and energy ties.
Russia took the new base agreement between Moscow and the EU as a framework document covering all key spheres of interactions between the two partners, Lavrov said, adding the ever-changing political realities could not be embedded into the agreement in advance.
According to the full-text of the speech published on the Foreign Ministry's website, Lavrov cited economic issues as the main obstacle for fruitful cooperation between the two sides.
"Our partners want to receive from Russia much more then we have agreed on accession to the WTO. We don't buy that," Lavrov said, adding there should be no hurry in the creation of a free trade zone between Russia and the EU as the latter demanded.
Meanwhile, Lavrov refuted attempts to enforce the EU's laws outside its territory.
"These instruments cannot have ex-territorial character and must strictly match the international law," he said.
Lavrov named the anti-trust investigation launched against Russian gas giant Gazprom, unilateral inclusion of civil aviation into the system of carbon quota trading, the "third energy package " among the controversial steps made by the European Union.
Lavrov also accused the EU of "perverted principle of solidarity" when it came to the lifting of visa restriction for Russian travelers.
"There is an opinion (within EU) that granting Russia a visa- free regime is politically unacceptable before the same regime is given to the Eastern Partnership countries (of the former Soviet Union)," Lavrov said.
Such approach was based "entirely on a political expediency" and Russia would like to see the EU's actions to dispel these suspicions, Lavrov said.
Next Sunday, Lavrov is to meet in Luxembourg with his colleagues from 27 EU member states to discuss the visas issue, said the Foreign Ministry.