Question: What do you think about the new EU sanctions against a number of Russian nationals?
Maria Zakharova: The Foreign Ministry took note of the May 14 decision by the EU Council to list a number of officials from the election commissions of Crimea and Sevastopol among the individuals subject to illegal personal sanctions introduced by the EU.
These new measures by the European Union demonstrate yet again the true attitude towards the people of Crimea, their interests and aspirations. Brussels persists in its efforts to “punish” those who were involved in organising democratic elections on the peninsula, as if forgetting about the high principles of democracy and human rights. It seems that the EU is still haunted by the positive changes experienced by Crimea residents since 2014, which becomes especially apparent against the backdrop of the current developments in Ukraine, where people understandably feel betrayed by the EU and its promise of a “brighter future.”
The Foreign Ministry believes that the futility of sanctions against Russia has long become obvious even to the European Union. The sanctions have evolved into a ritual of demonstrating solidarity within the EU. The only actual outcome is the accumulation of irritants that stand in the way of a mutually beneficial dialogue with Russia in the interests of our citizens.
Russia reserves the right to respond to this new unfriendly step by the EU in an appropriate manner.