EU-Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker: “My friend Vladimir Putin — because we have been friends for years, even though nowadays you cannot say that Putin is your friend.“

Europe and Russia need to “re-establish contact” and move past “Cold War rhetoric,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview published in the Dutch publication Trouw.

“If there’s something Russia is not, then that is it. We must learn to talk to Russians on an equal footing, at eye level.”

“We need to re-establish contact with Russia. Russia is a major player. There is no security agenda for Europe without Russia. I don’t like the current Cold War rhetoric.”

“We Europeans sometimes think that we are the boss of the world,” Jean-Claude Juncker said in the interview. “We forget that we are a small and weak part of the universe. We are losing economic power. We are slowly but surely falling from 25 percent of global gross national income to 18-16 percent.”

“We are on the losing side also demographically. We exist culturally, but we are not dominant. So I always invite everyone here to a more pronounced modesty. We must indeed listen to the rest of the world.”

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