Estonian MEP Riho Terras is one of more than 70 MEPs who are calling for Josep Borrell’s resignation after his trip to Russia was widely criticised as a “humiliation”. Mr Borrell’s visit was marred by a spiteful press conference with him and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov where the Russian called the EU an “unreliable partner” and condemned them for their support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Mr Terras forecast the pressure being put on the top EU diplomat and the backlash he has faced will push him into resigning.
Speaking to France 24, Riho Terras was asked: “You didn’t mince words after that trip by Mr Borrell to Moscow, you still calling for his resignation?”
Mr Terras replied: “Of course, he has lost his naivety today but the whole trip was naive and an embarrassment for European Union.
“Therefore I am sure that even he has changed his views a bit, I think.
“After that kind of humiliation, every decent person will step down, himself.
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“But I am happy that that European Ministers of Foreign Affairs understood the current situation and then we have now planned sanctions against some people in Russia, which hurts them the most.”
In a Euronews interview, Mr Terras called the meeting a “disaster” and signed a letter, alongside 73 other MEPS, calling for Mr Borrell’s resignation.
It was during Mr Borrell’s trip that three EU diplomats were banished from Russia due to the worsening relationships between the two actors.
The EU has enforced human rights sanctions against four Russian officials for their role in the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny.
Navalny recovered and chose to return to Russia in January but was quickly arrested for breaching the terms of his suspended sentence.
He was jailed for three years which ignited large protests across Russia and widespread condemnation from the international community.
The EU and UK have condemned the country for Navalny’s imprisonment.