Russia is ready to discuss ways out of the crisis in relations with the EU but does not see reciprocity, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Thursday.
Speaking in an interview with the Russian daily AiF, Maria Zakharova said the EU calls on Moscow and Kyiv to start peace talks are "just rhetoric," stressing that all EU actions, including military assistance to Ukraine, are aimed at escalation, not easing tensions.
Zakharova explained the change in the EU rhetoric — from "winning on the battlefield" to "finding a solution at the negotiation table" — by the growing discontent among EU citizens who are not satisfied with their leader's statements that are ascribing all problems to Russia.
"Ordinary European citizens are growing tired of permanent confrontational rhetoric and endless unfounded accusations against Russia. There is a growing demand for an end to the conflict in Ukraine and for internal stabilization in the EU member states.
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"News about new sanctions or regular calls to economically 'punish' Russia became more scary for the Europeans themselves. The only way out for people who are freezing, deprived of business, work and prospects, is to appeal to their leaders with requests to come to their senses," she said.
However, she added, the EU leaders do not listen to the voice of reason, despite the understanding that "the comfort, stability, security, and progressive development of the European Union — that remained in the past — were ensured through energy and other diverse interaction with Russia."
"Constant looks back on Washington do not allow the EU and its countries to pursue an independent foreign policy focused on ensuring the interests of their citizens.
"Apparently, the European Union needs to finally undermine its economy before (its politicians start to accompany) calls for dialogue through concrete steps.
"As for us, we are open to discussing ways out of the current crisis. However, it is important that any proposals take into account the real situation 'on the ground' and have added value for our country," Zakharova said.