EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell: Russia’s visit ‘not a success’

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, the European Union’s foreign policy chief admitted that his recent trip to Russia “was not a success”. But Josep Borrell rejected demands for his resignation during the visit to Moscow, during which several EU diplomats were expelled and the Russian Foreign Minister called the EU an “unreliable partner”.

“The purpose [of the visit] was to test Russia’s attitude towards the European Union, and the answer was clear. Russia chose aggression and expelled European diplomats during the visit, which is contrary to all diplomatic behavior, Borrell said.

Meanwhile, Borrell condemned Russia’s close ties with the military in Myanmar and defended EU sanctions, which have been followed by more deadly violence by the junta. “What is happening in Myanmar is a pity for humanity, it is a brutal repression – and we must use the tools we have,” he told our European editor Catherine Nicholson.

The EU’s top diplomat also reacted to the recent Chinese sanctions against several MEPs and their families who have spoken out against Chinese human rights abuses against Uighurs. “There has been a disproportionate reaction from China. No one pays more attention to human rights than we do, and the fact that we have sanctioned the people responsible for the Uighur issue in China proves it,” Borrell said.

And when the European Union hosts a donors’ conference for Syrians, the High Representative promised that the EU will continue to help the people of Syria. “We will continue our financial support for the Syrian people and our political support for the reconstruction of a country devastated by ten years of war,” he told FRANCE 24.

Click on the player above to see the full interview, which was produced by Isabelle Romero, Céline Schmitt, Mathilde Bénézet and Perrine Desplats.