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Russia not interested in endless sanctions standoff with Ukraine, says PM

December 06, 14:03 UTC+3

The politician said he did not know though for how much longer the sanctions would stay in place

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© Alexander Astafyev/Russian Government Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. Russia is not interested in keeping in effect counter-measures in relations with Ukraine indefinitely, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview to several Russian TV channels on Thursday. At the same time he avoided making any forecasts as to how much longer the measures might last.

"I do not know, of course, for how much longer the sanctions will stay effective. I would like to say once again that the sanctions were introduced on the basis of a presidential decree and the government’s decision not against the Ukrainian people or the Ukrainian economy. They are against those who have discredited themselves and who cause harm to our country. We do not wish to have any sanction standoffs. We are not to blame for starting this hysteria," Medvedev said.

He added that although the Ukrainian authorities were trying hard to restrict economic relations with Russia, doing that turned out not very easy.

Ukrainian sanctions

Since February 2014 Ukraine has introduced sanctions against 1,228 individuals and 468 legal entities, including Russian officials, politicians, CEOs and journalists.

In the spring of 2017 President Pyotr Poroshenko imposed restrictions on five Russian public-private banks operating in the Ukrainian market. Sanctions against some Russian Internet companies and the media industry followed late in the same year. In the summer of 2018 Poroshenko signed a decree to expand sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities, including six main political parties, the Central Election Commission and its head and a number of non-governmental organizations.

Russia’s retaliation

Russia responded with retaliatory measures against some Ukrainian individuals and legal entities. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a resolution on that score on November 1, 2018. Russian sanctions apply to 322 individuals and 68 legal entities. The Russian government’s press-service said the retaliatory measures might be lifted if Ukraine canceled its own restrictions.

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