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Russia calls for earliest restoration of economic relations with EU — Deputy PM

February 18, 2016, 21:43 UTC+3

According to Dmitry Rogozin, the figures of trade and economic turnover have fallen by about a third

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Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin

Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin

© Donat Sorokin/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Russia calls for the earliest restoration of economic relations with the European Union, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at the 10th session of the Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation between Russia and the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union.

"Of course, we are all interested in the businesses’ position in favor of the earliest lifting of mutual restrictions. We share this position of businesses, we are in favor of normalizing the trade relations and, of course, for further development", he said.

Rogozin said a serious decline is observed in Russia-EU trade turnover. "If we look at the indicators of the trade and economic turnover, the figures have fallen by about a third," he said, adding that it is always more difficult to restore the relations than to establish them. "As for the sphere for which I am directly responsible in the Russian government - matters related to the military-industrial complex, the story is sadder here for the reason that military-technical relations usually develop between countries that trust each other," the deputy prime minister said.

However, according to him, Russia remains optimistic. "In fact, today's meeting is the beginning of the painstaking and complex work to rebuild relations," Rogozin said. "The very spirit of our recent contacts with the EU, with other European countries suggests that all are developing the understanding that they do not want to live this way further".

The deputy prime minister added that in the conditions of falling oil prices it is high time to "let businesses breathe" and let them see new prospects. Rogozin said the Russian government was making efforts to improve the business environment, including the signing by the president of a decree on the working group for the monitoring of law enforcement in the field of entrepreneurship, to be headed by chief of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Ivanov. Rogozin said that "roadmaps" of the national business initiative are implemented in the country to eliminate unnecessary administrative barriers. He also spoke about the mechanism of the special investment contract, which can be used within the framework of special economic zones and priority development areas.

Rogozin conveyed an invitation of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev to businesspeople from Luxembourg and Belgium to visit Russia’s regions of the Far East and Eastern Siberia. "There are plenty of opportunities there, interesting offers, fast-payback projects, and we guarantee the necessary administrative support to the business community", the deputy prime minister said.

The EU and the United States introduced sanctions against the whole sectors of Russia’s economy in July 2014 over the developments in Ukraine. Russia responded by limiting the imports of goods from the countries that imposed sanctions. In late June 2015, Russia extended the food embargo until August 5, 2016 in response to the extension of Western sanctions.

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