The EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, has told Russia that while the bloc wants closer ties with Moscow, there are undeniable problems. The Russian foreign minister seems to feel the same way.
The European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, told a news conference in the Russian capital on Monday that the EU could not pretend that Moscow had not annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, and that the bloc's sanctions over the issue would not be lifted.
She insisted, however, that cooperation between the two sides was not "frozen," but rather hampered by differences over issues such as Ukraine and Syria.
Mogherini was speaking alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on her first official visit to Moscow in her current role as the EU's top diplomat.
During earlier talks between the two, Lavrov also admitted that it was currently "a difficult period in relations between Russia and the West," but that Moscow still aimed "to restore full collaboration with the EU, our large trade and economic partner."