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Lavrov Blasts EU’s Tusk Over Ukraine Comments

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks at a joint press conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (not pictured) in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2015.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday for “stirring up tensions” between Moscow and the bloc against what he said was a desire by some member states for better ties with the Kremlin.

Lavrov, speaking at a news conference in Moscow after talks with visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, referred to Tusk's talks with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday.

“Through the process of building consensus, the EU members themselves need to define the limits of conduct of officials who sit in Brussels and make statements for all 28 member states,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov blamed European Union representatives in Brussels of trying to build an impression that there was no progress in the Minsk agreements, a deal aimed at stopping the violence in east Ukraine.

“For now, it so happens that the European Union's bureaucracy in Brussels is purposefully stirring up confrontation between Russia and the European Union, often trying to build an impression that no progress in fulfilling the military part of the Minsk agreement exists, and trying by these means to delay delivery on the political part of the [Minsk] agreement and, at the same time, complicating the normalization of ties between the EU states and Russia, which many countries, including Spain, back,” Lavrov said.

The Spanish minister said he did not see more tightening of the sanctions on Russia coming over Ukraine as the fragile cease-fire there was holding in general.