MOSCOW (Dispatches) -- Russia says the European Union has hampered normal relations with Moscow through "bias” in a way that Russia is now "perceived as stranger” in the eyes of the West.
"As former U.S. President Obama once said, relations have been torn to shreds,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Many of the mechanisms of interaction between Moscow and Brussels have brought down, according to Lavrov.
In a visit to Moscow this months, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell acknowledged that relations between Brussels and Moscow have fallen to "a low point” lately.
Lavrov also criticized EU sanctions against Russia as a way for Brussels "to bolster their self-esteem.”
"Now they begin to act in the same way as the U.S., including displaying the mentality of the exceptional cohort of states,” said the Russian diplomat.
Lavrov echoed remarks made by President Vladimir Putin last week about the West’s strategy to "contain” Russia.
Putin said that Russia’s "numerous successes” on a military level as well as its management of the coronavirus pandemic and the development of the Sputnik V vaccine were "starting to irritate” Moscow’s adversaries.
"We have had a lot of success, and it annoys them,” the president said in an interview with the Russian media, that was broadcast on a public television on Sunday.
"That’s where the containment policy, including in the economy, comes from,” he said. "The stronger we become, the stronger this containment policy.”
The EU has repeatedly threatened to impose sanctions on Russia over the imprisonment of Western-backed blogger Alexei Navalny.
In response to the threats, Lavrov has labeled Brussels as "an unreliable partner,” saying the Kremlin is "getting used to the fact that the European Union is trying to impose unilateral restrictions, illegitimate restrictions.”
Lavrov also touched on the issue of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that carries Russian natural gas to Europe.
The Moscow-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is designed to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream undersea gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany and to supply cheaper energy to Central European customers.
Under the agreement between Moscow and Berlin, it was to be launched in mid-2020, but the project has been delayed due to hurdles imposed by the US.
"The situation with the Nord Stream 2 is absolutely straightforward”, said Lavrov. "There is also no withdrawal from the demand on Europe in respect of the Nord Stream 2 to stop participating in some affairs undermining the European security.”