World Economy

Medvedev Says Russia, Europe Need Each Other

Medvedev Says Russia, Europe Need Each OtherMedvedev Says Russia, Europe Need Each Other

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he believed that the European Union’s and Russia’s shared objective of creating a common economic space “from Lisbon to Vladivostok” remained relevant today.

Medvedev said in an interview with Slovenia’s national broadcaster RTV Slovenija: “Europe needs the Russian market and Russia needs cooperation with Europe. For this reason, the idea of a common economic space is still there. It’s absolutely sensible from an economic point of view,” Tass reported.

The premier noted that a new idea had been put forward not long ago, namely “the idea of establishing relations between the biggest integration associations on territory of the entire Euro-Asian space”.

These included the European Union, the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization grouping Russia, China and four ex-Soviet states in Central Asia alongside Beijing’s Silk Road East-West trading route, he said.

“It seems to me that if we put these projects together, everyone will benefit,” Medvedev said.

Despite existing difficulties in the relationship between Russia and the EU, Europe remained Russia’s main partner, the premier stressed. “The European Union is still our biggest partner, not countries of the East Asian region or the Pacific region, but the European Union,” he said, adding that although two-way trade had decreased, it was still worth hundreds of billions of euros and remained at high levels. “It means that we need each other,” he said.

Medvedev added that he did not know how long the standoff between Russia and the West would continue. “We have repeatedly said that the path of sanctions makes no sense as it leads to nothing and usually has no end except that relations deteriorate and you have to hold long and arduous negotiations then,” he said.

Medvedev said he believed it was up to Europe to draw a line under “the sanctions war”.

“We have not started this process and I am sure it’s not up to us to finish it,” Medvedev said, speaking about the impact of sanctions on bilateral trade. “Anyway, restrictions of any kind disappear while trade relations, particularly good relations between countries, between nations, good feelings between people, always remain and prevail over this.”