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Russian lawmaker says sanctions on Berlusconi not to improve Ukraine’s image in EU eyes

September 17, 2015, 18:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Ukrainian Security Service has banned former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from entering the country following his visit to Crimea

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Crimea

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Crimea

© Alexei Druzhinin/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

MOSCOW, September 17 /TASS/. The persecution of the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for his visit to Crimea is just one in a series of steps Ukraine has made to undermine the Minsk agreements, Vladimir Dzhabarov, the first deputy head of the Russian Federation Council Committee for International Affairs, said on Thursday.

"I do not think that Silvio Berlusconi’s inclusion in the sanctions list will add points to Poroshenko," the lawmaker stressed commenting Ukraine’s decision to ban the Ukrainian politician from entering Ukraine.

According to Dzhabarov, the Ukrainian authorities acted according to a principle of "who is Russia’s friend is my enemy". He also believes that Berlusconi could not care less for what Ukraine thinks of his actions.

"I think he is going to react to these sanctions with humour," Dzhabarov said.

Kiev’s actions against the Italian politician alongside with similar moves taken against citizens and legal entities of a number of countries are aimed at disrupting the peace process in southeastern Ukraine, the Russian lawmaker said.

"It seems that new sanctions are being introduced to disrupt the Minsk-2 package of measures; aggravate the situation at any cost and create new problems," Dzhabarov said.

"All the recent steps of the Ukrainian authorities are trying to distract the attention of its people and the Europeans from problems, which Ukraine is currently facing," Dzhabarov concluded.

Ukraine’s Internet publication Apostrophe reported on Thursday that Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) had banned Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from entering Ukraine.

"On September 14, SBU ruled that the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should be banned from entering the territory of Ukraine for the next three years for the sake of security interests of our state," SBU said in response to Apostrophe’s inquiry.

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