Agenda: Crisis in EU-Russian relations
Meeting Russia Online Discussion Club took place on July 27. Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, was the guest of the online meeting at which a wide range of issues concerning EU-Russian relations was discussed.

In the opening speech Mr. Polyanskiy shared his opinion "on what is happening and has been happening in the EU-Russian relations" – the sphere to which Mr. Polyanskiy has devoted more than 20 years of his life.

The questions that interested the participants most and received exhaustive commentaries from Mr. Polyanskiy were about
  • chances for improving people-to-people contacts in these turbulent times,
  • Russia's resilience to economic sanctions imposed by the EU and the US,
  • anxiety of societies in many countries about the backlash of the sanctions,
  • contradictions within the EU over its policy towards Russia,
  • problems of the European perception of Russia.
Here are some highlights of Mr. Polyanskiy's answers:

  • "Europe has almost merged with NATO – in terms of objectives, or funds spending, or politics on most issues."
  • "I don't believe they realize the consequences of what they are proposing or the contradictory character of their strategy."
  • "Not only Russia but many European countries are critical of the EU institutions. - It is up to the European voters to define what kind of EU they want to see in the future."
  • "Many people are afraid now to show positive feelings towards Russia."
  • "Mass media nowadays have become part of the problem."
Mr. Polyanskiy warned against drawing hasty conclusions and proposed not to dramatize the situation but wait until the end of the military operation and see how the strategies would change. "The world will be different then," he said.