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Belgian FM insists on necessity of partnership with Russia

English.news.cn   2014-03-22 20:21:57

BRUSSELS, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders insisted on the necessity of partnership between the EU and Russia on Friday during a speech at the Brussels Forum.

"We both know that Russia is and must remain a partner whose added value on the diplomatic scene has proven, more than once, very useful," Reynders said.

The Belgian minister said that on all sides, the U.S. and EU, "we are convinced that our partnership with Russia is an absolute necessity."

"Together with Russia, we were able to challenge so many difficulties of this world in transition. Together with Russia, we had to win the peace that followed the end of the Cold War," he added.

However, Reynders also said that in today's world, their message is not well understood by Russia.

A world in transition is a world where exchange of views among nations and all actors have to be multiplied so as to avoid misunderstanding and wrong perceptions, he stressed.

According to the Belgian politician, "in Russia today, NATO is considered by the average citizen as the most dangerous potential enemy".

"Misunderstanding feed potential nationalistic feelings and the reactions and we all know where nationalism leads," he said.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and celebration is planned in Belgium. "It is more than appropriate to remember those lessons," he added.

Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic.


Obama announces new sanctions on Russian officials, bank

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday announced new sanctions against senior Russian officials and a bank in a move to "impose additional costs" on Russia.

"Based on the executive order that I signed in response to Russia's initial intervention in Ukraine, we're imposing sanctions on more senior officials of the Russian government," Obama said at the White House. Full story

Russia produces tit-for-tat sanction list against U.S.

MOSCOW, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Russia barred Thursday a list of U. S. politicians from entering the country as a tit-for-tat move over Washington's sanctions.

The list includes nine politicians, namely U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Caroline Atkinson; Daniel Pfeiffer, Assistant and Senior Advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama; Benjamin Rhodes, Assistant to Obama; House of Representatives speaker John Boehner; Harry Reid, Majority Whip at the U.S. Senate; Robert Menendez, chairman of the U.S. Senate committee on foreign relations and senators Mary Landrieu, Daniel Coats and John McCain, according to a foreign ministry statement. Full story

Ukraine hails association agreement with EU

KIEV, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Friday termed the political provisions of an association agreement signed between Kiev and the European Union on Friday as a " historic milestone" in the relations between the two sides.

"The government is considering the agreement as an important step towards Ukraine's strategic aim -- the EU membership," the ministry's press service said in a statement. Full story

Editor: chengyang
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