The door to a Eurasian partnership is open to the European Union, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a meeting of the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund on 23 March 2018 in Moscow.
“Indeed, since our president has been promoting the ‘Greater Eurasia’ concept, we have been pointing out that along with members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), our doors are also always open for the European Union for the purposes of building equal and mutually beneficial ties based on the balance of interests,” the Russian top diplomat noted.
Lavrov also said that ignoring the potential of such a project would be a misguided policy. “We all live on this great Eurasian continent and it would be short-sighted to refrain from using these clear advantages in today’s highly competitive world,” he added.
The Russian foreign minister also lauded the Gorchakov Fund’s activities aimed at deepening intersocietal dialogue on Eurasian integration. In particular, Lavrov pointed to the fund’s efforts to engage non-profit institutions, as well as experts from Russia and other EAEU member states. “The idea to launch Eurasian schools and expert discussions remains fully relevant, particularly as far as ways to combine the Eurasian economic project and China’s One Belt, One Road initiative are concerned,” Lavrov added.
At the May 2016 ASEAN summit, the Russian president came up with the idea to build large-scale cross-border partnership involving ASEAN, the EAEU and the SCO.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Yuri Kofner, head, Eurasian sector, CCEIS, Higher School of Economics.