OREANDA-NEWS. The European Union could do much more to prevent an escalation in Europe and to interact with the Russian Federation. This was announced on Thursday, December 30, by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.

“The European Union, to the accompaniment of groundless accusations, has fixed our country in its doctrinal principles as a strategic challenge and perhaps the main source of some hybrid threats to the security of the European Union,” Zakharova told reporters.

If the European Union sincerely wanted, they could have done much more to develop cooperation between Russia and the EU, Zakharova added.

On December 28, Russia's Permanent Representative to the European Union (EU) Vladimir Chizhov called the fact that the Russian Federation is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine as a potential irritant in relations between Moscow and Brussels.

He stressed that Russia has never been a party to the Ukrainian conflict in Ukraine - "neither in 2014, 2015, when the Minsk agreements were drawn up, nor today."

On December 25, it was reported that the EU had already prepared sanctions against Russia in case of a possible escalation of the situation around Ukraine. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen noted that the EU "can force itself to be respected" in the issue of the crisis around Ukraine, given that Moscow wants to conduct a dialogue with Washington, and not with Brussels.

In recent weeks, a number of Western media outlets have reported on the alleged plans of the Russian Federation to "invade" Ukraine. So, on December 4, the American newspaper The Washington Post, citing officials in the US administration, reported that Russia allegedly intends to invade Ukraine at the beginning of next year, using "up to 175 thousand troops."

On December 23, during a press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin answered a question about Russia's alleged plans to "invade" Ukraine. According to him, such statements give the impression that the Ukrainian side is "preparing a third operation" in Donbass. As the president pointed out, "there is a feeling that we are being warned."