EU diplomacy chief, Federica Mogherini, will travel next week to Russia, where she has never visited before due to tensions with Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis. Her visit on 24 April will conclude a tour that will also take her to China and India from 19 April.
In Moscow, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs will meet with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, to discuss “the most pressing foreign policy issues, especially the conflict in Syria”, the statement said in a press release.
“They will also discuss the situation in Libya, the peace process in the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.”
The announcement comes at a time when US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is in Moscow in a context of unprecedented tensions following the April 4 suspected chemical attack in Syria, to which Washington responded with a targeted attack on a Syrian air base three days later.
Relations between Moscow and the EU deteriorated markedly after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014. Europe imposed heavy penalties on Russia for its alleged support of the pro-Russian rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine.