STUTTGART /Germany/ May 31. /TASS/. Russia may change its regime of countersanctions if the European Union changes its sanctions regime against Russia, Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev told reporters.
"I think that if the regime of sanctions is changed, the regime of counter-sanctions can also be changed. I think that it [the list of sanctioned goods - TASS] may be reduced if the sanctions regime is softened," the minister said.
Ulyukayev said that "if in June our European colleagues make such a decision regarding the second half of 2016 and in December - regarding the first half of 2017, I think we will appreciate it and will meet the needs [of EU -TASS]."
Earlier, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU was not going to change its position on anti-Russian sanctions in the near future.
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 two years ago after a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
New, sectoral, penalties against Russia were announced in 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
On June 24, 2015, Putin signed a decree on extension of food embargo until August 5 of 2016.