Fifty MEPs demand the resignation of the High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell, for his last visit to Russia. In a letter to European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, they accuse Borrell of causing “serious damage to the EU’s reputation” with his joint press conference with Russia’s foreign minister and the expulsion of three European diplomats. He is also accused of going to Moscow on his own initiative and the trip is considered “humiliating”. The letter is supported, above all, by ultra-conservative Polish MEPs and people from the Baltic and Eastern countries. Vox MEP Herman Tertsch also signed the letter.
EPP MEP Riho Terras started the initiative on Saturday:
After the Moscow humiliation, Meps are asking Borrell to step down or von der Leyen to fire him.
Here a letter by EPP Mep Riho Terras to von der Leyen. pic.twitter.com/iYNpqBhyYE
— David Carretta (@davcarretta) February 6, 2021
Latvian MP Sandra Kalniete, vice president of Foreign Affairs for the European People’s Party group, also harshly criticized Borrell: “Holding a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov while the main opposition politician is being tried again for political reasons does not help his case and is a slap in the face for all those who defend democracy ”.
Holding a joint press conference with Min #Lavrov at very moment when @Navalny was being brought for another trial confirms the very bad timing of @JosepBorrellF visit to Moscow. Instead of bringing #Navalny back home, Mr Borrell has whitewashed #Putin's regime, says @Kalniete
— EPP Group (@EPPGroup) February 5, 2021
Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, also criticized Borrell on Twitter laconically: “Nothing gained, opportunities missed, reputation shaken”.
Nothing gained, opportunities missed, reputation shaken.
— Gabrielius Landsbergis (@GLandsbergis) February 5, 2021
Today, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova responded Spain’s FA Minister in an ironic post on her Facebook wall: “I now have a new democratic idol. This time it’s a woman: the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Arancha González Laya. Commenting on Sergei Lavrov’s words about the situation of Catalan leaders, she literally said the following: in Spain there are no political prisoners, there are politicians in prison. The advanced technologies of Western propaganda are among the best.”