Russia is ready to work with the new leaders of the European Council and EU diplomacy - Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini - and expects that they will express the collective stance of the European Union, Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov has said.
"As our opinion, appointments to leading posts are their internal affair, of course. We will be working with those whom they have chosen. All these people are well known to us. Clearly each of them has his or her subtleties in political approaches. But we proceed from the belief that they will reflect the collective stance of the European Union," Chizhov said commenting on the appointment of Tusk and Mogherini.
He said there are "no special surprises" in the appointments. "At the second try a balance of all factors was found as if on pharmaceutical scales. This is a balance between old and new members, between big and small countries, between the left and the right, between the North and the South, the West and the East, and finally, which has been important lately, between genders," Chizhov said.
"Naturally, this is not the end of the story," he said. "Firstly, only Mr. Tusk has been finally approved as the President of the European Council. Mogherini together with other would-be commissioners has to be approved by the European Parliament the same as [president elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude] Junker had to. Juncker as president went through the approval process but he will have to present the entire composition of the European Commission. And they will now be dealing with that," Chizhov said.
He said that in selecting candidates EU leaders also chose a balance concerning the attitude of candidates to Russia. "The fact that they reached such a balance - one doesn't have to been an expert to see that regarding Russia they also chose a balance. And apparently this is not accidental either," he said. "We used to work with Tusk as the prime minister of Poland and with Mogherini as the foreign minister of Italy and worked with Juncker as the prime minister of Luxembourg for a long time," Chizhov recalled.
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