Currency converter
All news
News Search Topics
Use filter
You can filter your feed,
by choosing only interesting

Expert Opinions

This content is available for viewing on PCs and tablets

Go to main page

Moscow invites Brussels to end war of sanctions

December 01, 2014, 17:18 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Moscow has told Brussels it may be prepared to cancel its restrictive measures against European goods, if the European Union gives up anti-Russian sanctions. Last Saturday the Foreign Ministry issued a call to the European countries urging them to get out of the dead end of sanctions and promised that Russia’s counter-sanctions would be lifted in return.

In response to that proposal European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the sanctions would stay in effect until Moscow took steps towards “restoring peace” to the region, apparently referring to hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine.

Nevertheless, Russian experts believe that Moscow’s message has a chance to be heard in Brussels in the end. Nor do they rule out the possibility of talks about easing the war of sanctions to the mutual benefit of Russia and the European Union.

“Europe is experiencing what one may describe as cumulative fatigue over Ukraine. It looks increasingly eager to find an alternative to the Ukrainian agenda. The European Union would like to distance itself from the Ukrainian problem that has been imposed on it,” lecturer at the Moscow state university of international relations MGIMO, Kirill Koktysh, has told TASS.

“It is precisely that feeling of fatigue and the growing awareness that the European Union is in reality losing markets due to mutual Russian-European sanctions that can be heard in statements by European politicians these days. Such statements are made aloud at various conferences. In some industries trade with Russia has slumped by 20%. Naturally, this is a major incentive to look for some formats to mend relations with Moscow,” Koktysh said.

“For this reason Russia’s zero option proposal may have certain chances of falling on attentive ears in Brussels. The restrictive measures imposed last spring after Crimea’s reunification with Russia were introduced for one year and cannot be prolonged automatically. This means that some sort of bargaining is ahead. It may serve as a step towards normalizing relations and contacts between the European Union and Russia.

“Very probably Brussels will not raise the theme of ending sanctions at least till the spring of 2015. Then the question will arise whether to extend the package of anti-Russian sanctions for one year or to discontinue it. I am familiar with the climate in the European Union well enough to speculate with a high degree of probability the sanctions may be prolonged, but it cannot be ruled out that the process of integration will begin on a new basis, either,” the head of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council’s Presidium, Fyodor Lukyanov, has told TASS.

“Of late, Brussels has been mulling the idea it would be a great mistake for the European Union to ignore the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia. The EU says it keeps an open door to establishing relations with the Eurasian Economic Union and the Customs Union. It may be a sort of trickery on the part of Brussels - an attempt to put pressures on Russia through its partners in both economic unions, or evidence of the rational intention to seek mutually beneficial cooperation,” Lukyanov said.

“At the November 22 meeting of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov drew the audience’s attention to the fact that many in Europe were beginning to say aloud it might be reasonable to set the task of creating a common economic and humanitarian space of the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union. A public statement on that score was made by Germany’s foreign minister. Lavrov also remarked that Europe no longer regarded as something exotic Russian President Vladimir Putin’s idea of entering into negotiations over the creation of a free customs zone of the European Union and the Customs Union,” Lukyanov recalled.


ITAR-TASS may not share the opinions of its contributors