Russia is ready to terminate relations with the European Union, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"In case we see again that in some areas they impose sanctions that create risks for our economy, including in most sensitive areas. We do not want to isolate ourselves from global life, but we must be prepared for it. If you want peace, prepare for war," Lavrov said on Solovyov Live YouTube channel, RIA Novosti reports.
This week, Brussels officials announced that the EU was considering new anti-Russian sanctions. The announcement came after the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, returned to the EU from Moscow. In his opinion, Russia "did not live up to expectations" and "did not become a modern democracy."
Prior to the meeting with Borrell, Russian FM Lavrov said that the hysterics in the West in connection with events related to Alexei Navalny was running high.
The main reason for growing tension in the relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation remains the arrest of Alexei Navalny, who survived the poisoning with a Novichok family poison. The EU is also highly concerned about the detention of thousands of protesters at unapproved rallies in Russia on 23 and 31 January. During his visit to Moscow on February 4-6, Josep Borrell demanded Russia should explain the possible use of banned chemical weapons.
In return, Russian officials recommended their European counterparts not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and deal with their own problems instead.
The Kremlin later decided to clarify Sergei Lavrov's remarks about Russia's readiness for the termination of relations with the European Union.
Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Russia will not initiate a break up in the relations with the European Union. Instead, Moscow wants to develop relations with Brussels.
"The media have started advertising this headline without a context. This is a big mistake that changes the whole point. The point is that we do not want this - we want to develop relations with the European Union, but if the European Union follows this path, then yes - we will be ready. One needs to be prepared for the worst to happen," Dmitry Peskov said, clarifying the statement from Sergei Lavrov.
"They misinterpreted the meaning and presented this sensational headline in a way that everyone believes that Russia is willing to break up its relations with the European Union," he added.
It also became known that the EU may impose new sanctions against Russia in the coming month. In particular, EU countries may impose travel bans and freeze the assets of supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin.