ARKHANGELSK, May 24. /TASS/. Sanctions are starting to "melt away" because Europe does not benefit from current relations with Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday.
"Sanctions policy starts to ‘melt away’. One way or another, this course will not last forever," Rogozin said at the session of the Maritime Collegium and presidium of the State Commission for Arctic Development Issues.
Rogozin noted that sanctions will still remain in some form. "However, they will not, of course, remain in the current form because it is just impossible for Europe to have such bad relations with Russia," he concluded.
The West, inspired by the United States, subjected Russian officials and companies to the first batch of sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March 2014 after a coup in Ukraine in February that year. New, sectoral, penalties against Russia were announced in late July 2014 over Moscow’s position on Ukrainian events, in particular, what the West claimed was Russia’s alleged involvement in hostilities in Ukraine’s embattled south-east.
Russia responded with imposing on August 6, 2014 a ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway. The Russian authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of "annexing" Crimea - because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum - and Moscow has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine.