MOSCOW: Russia regrets the European Unions (EU) refusal to hold a summit with Moscow, as well as its decision to develop new sanctions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters here.
"We regret it," TASS News Agency quoted Peskov as saying on Friday when asked to provide a reaction to most of the EU leaders rejecting a proposal by France and Germany to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "As you know, President Putin generally remains interested in establishing working relations between Moscow and Brussels," the spokesman added.
"We hope that those countries that adhere to a more balanced approach will continue to work to promote the idea of establishing dialogue between Brussels and Moscow." Peskov reiterated that "Moscow is still interested in this".
The proposal for meeting was floated following the in-person summit between Putin and US President Joe Biden in Geneva this month.
French President Emmanuel Macron had said that a meeting with the Russian leader would be "a dialogue to defend our interests".
But in a statement issued on Friday after an overnight EU leaders' meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told journalists: "We couldn't agree today that we would meet immediately at management level, that is, at executive level... Personally, I would have liked a more courageous step here." The 27 EU leaders need to unanimously agree on restarting talks with Russia for such a meeting to take place. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told journalists on Friday that the Franco-German proposal "was a good initiative" to have this kind of discussion but "it was not the right time" for it. (IANS)