Russia is set to intensify partnership with the new European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker, Russia's Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said in an exclusive interview with the EurActiv news web portal on Tuesday.
“With the new commission, we are fully prepared to reinvigorate our cooperation,” the diplomat said. “I would suggest that we should not concentrate on slogans or debate whether our relationship is strategic or not, but rather look into the substance.”
“The new commission will have a number of familiar faces, including its president (Jean-Claude Juncker), who is a well-known experienced politician. He served as prime minister of Luxembourg during periods of the Luxembourg presidency in the council," Chizhov said.
"Also bilaterally, Russia and Luxembourg had a number of contacts, including at the highest level,” Chizhov said, adding that Russia also hoped to establish good relations with new members of Juncker's European Commission.
“With other members of the commission, including the High Representative/Vice President (Federica Mogherini), we hope to establish good working contacts to jointly find a way out of this rather negative period in our relations,” he said.
The new EU executive body, comprising one representative from each of the 28 member states, takes office for five years on November 1, replacing outgoing Jose Manuel Barroso.