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PRAGUE, March 23. /TASS/. Russia does not intend to curtail economic ties with the European Union, Minister of Industry Denis Manturov said on Wednesday.
"Certainly, sanctions undermined our relations with the EU nations. However, we continue perceiving the EU as our leading partner and has no intentions to initiate contraction of economic relations with it," the minister said.
Russia is in a going dialog with the European business, Manturov said. "It has become evident long time ago for many of its representatives that the way of sanctions is dead-ended," he added.
Losses of the European economy from sanctions imposed by the EU are estimated as €40 bln in 2014 and €50 bln in 2015, the minister said. "We fully share the approach of the business community that supports full cancellation of sanctions. The sooner businessmen will be able to return to running business without restrictions imposed by politics, the more losses we will manage to avoid," Manturov said.
According to expert estimates, European nations may lose about 870,000 jobs and 33 bln euro more in money terms if the current situation continues, Manturov said. "The EU countries will be forced to cut up to 2.2 mln jobs and financial damages will be about 100 bln euro as a result of sanctions in the long term up to 5 years," he added.
The European Union introduced sanctions against Russia in 2014 in connection with developments in Ukraine and Russia’s reunification with Crimea and repeatedly extended and broadened them since then. Russia responded by banning import of fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat products from the EU.