Comment by the Information and Press Department on the decision by the Committee of Permanent Representatives of Member States of the EU to renew sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian citizens until March 2016
The decision by the Committee of Permanent Representatives of Member States of the EU is subject to approval by the EU Council, which is likely to happen in the days to come. Unfortunately, so far the perspective of an aggressive Russophobe minority within the EU leadership and its member states prevails with respect to the issue of renewing the sanctions against Russian citizens and organisations. What’s more, they ignore EU economists and political observers who argue that restrictive measures against Russia are illegal in terms of international law, inefficient and detrimental to the EU economy. We hope that more pragmatic and reasonable approaches to building a new kind of political relationship with Russia based on mutually beneficial economic partnership will gradually prevail within the EU. The fact that the reasons behind the anti-Russian sanctions and their ongoing renewal process are completely factious is another point at issue. Only Washington and Brussels believe in the mantra they invented themselves that Russia is not abiding by the Minsk Agreements. If anyone is not complying, it is Kiev which benefits from the unconditional patronage of the West.
We would like to recall that Russia’s retaliatory measures are fully legitimate, since international law enables countries to take counter actions to protect or restore its legitimate interests. In all instances visa restrictions were introduced in accordance with the Federal Law (No. 114-FZ dated August 15, 1996 On the entry to and exit from the Russian Federation).
The term of the Russian stop list naturally depends on related steps by the European Union. There is no need for us to renew it “piece by piece,” as is the case in the EU. It will remain in effect until the EU lifts its restrictions. As soon as Brussels cancels its list of sanctioned parties, it won’t take long for Russia to respond accordingly.
4 September 2015