Russia is no longer a strategic partner of the EU, European Parliament says

In a controversial resolution on Russia, the European Parliament stated:

“The EU must critically re-assess its relations with Russia, which are profoundly damaged by Russia’s deliberate violation of democratic principles, fundamental values and international law with its violent action and destabilisation of its neighbours”

(European Parliament press release)

The resolution was passed by 494 votes to 135, with 69 abstentions. The MEPs who voted against or abstained provoked a strong reaction from the US VP Biden who said that says Europeans questioning Russia sanctions ‘inappropriate, annoying‘. (Russia Today)

Even if this is the official position of the European Parliament, many EU national ministers are opposing the sanctions to Russia for their economic and import and export interests. Italian Minister for Economic Affairs Padoan said that sanctions against Russia have a negative impact on whole Europe. Also Spanish Foreign Minster Margallo said that European Union lost 21 billion euros (around $24 billion) due to sanctions against Russia. Spain suffered in agriculture and tourism.

With regards to the natural gas, many European countries are dependent on Russia:

Russian Gas Europe Reliance

Putin previously told to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera: “Only an insane person thinks Russia would attack NATO” (Politico)