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Russian MP: US sanctions have no principal influence on Russia’s foreign policy

April 14, 2016, 19:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the food embargo imposed on Western countries would not be lifted until the Western sanctions were in place

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Aleksey Pushkov

Aleksey Pushkov

© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. Sanctions against Russia have not influenced and cannot influence Russia’s foreign policy, State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Aleksey Pushkov told TASS on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the annual televised Q&A session officially known as "The Direct Line with Vladimir Putin" the food embargo imposed on Western countries in retaliation to their sanctions against Russia would not be lifted until the Western sanctions were in place.

"Now (US President Barrack) Obama worries about Libya (that is was his worst mistake). I think in the future Obama will have all opportunities to worry that he used the tools that complicated Russia’s economic functioning but failed to have a principal influence on its foreign policy," Pushkov said. "And the proof is both the reaction of Russia’s president and Russia’s political practice."

Putin was doubtful that "in the near future our partners will ease restrictions against our country," he said. "I would mention the president’s very calm attitude to Western sanctions."

In March Obama extended anti-Russian sanctions for another year.

"The United States seems to exert a certain pressure on European countries along with Japan in order to get them to have a united policy on sanctions," the lawmaker said. "However, Putin does not turn a hair since he accepts it as a given reality that should be in mind, but not as something that can affect his foreign policy priorities."

In 2014, the European Union and the US imposed sanctions against Russia over developments in Ukraine and have repeatedly extended and expanded them. On August 7, 2014, Russia took a package of retaliatory measures in response to the sanctions imposed by the EU, the US, Australia, Canada and Norway. The so-called counter-sanctions implied a ban on imports of fruit, vegetables, and dairy and meat products to Russia from these countries. In 2015 Russia extended the retaliatory measures for another year.

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