13:03 May. 30, 2016
E.U. Commission officials claim the trip will only strengthen Kremlin's position
Both the U.S. and the E.U. are deeply concerned over the European Commission leader's intentions to visit Russia. Numerous officials claim this will only strengthen the position Russia's President Vladimir Putin ahead of the crucial E.U. decision to prolong sanctions against Moscow. Additionally, Brussels claims St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is often contrasted by Russian media with the World Economic Forum in Davos.
"There is no need in holding any meetings just for the record since the E.U.-Russia bilateral relations will not develop. Kremlin officials strive for organizing as many meetings as possible in order to create an effect of continuing business affairs between Moscow and Brussels," said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.
As reported earlier, President of the E.U. Commission Jean-Claude Juncker declared he is about to visit Russia in June to allegedly take part in St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. If settled. he is set to be the first E.U. leader coming to Russia since sanctions were imposed in March 2014 for Russia's annexation of Crimean peninsula and supporting separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine.
Numerous diplomats from the U.S.A., United Kingdom, Baltic states, as well as Central Europe have already expressed their preoccupation with Juncker's upcoming trip to Russia. According to local media, some E.U. Commission officials have already asked their boss to delicately refuse from going to Russia.