ST. PETERSBURG, June 17. /TASS/. The Kremlin considers it unreasonable to cancel its counter-sanctions amid the West’s accusations that Moscow is not fulfilling the Minsk accords on the peace settlement in east Ukraine, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
"No doubt, amid the wrong understanding, from our viewpoint, as demonstrated by many European and American colleagues, including with regard to the essence of the Minsk accords, I don’t know how reasonable it would be to engage in some charity and cancel counter-measures," the presidential spokesman said.
"This wrong understanding is expressed in the fact that they pronounce all the time like mantra the phrase that Russia must fulfill the Minsk accords," the Kremlin spokesman said.
"By the way, the erroneousness of these judgements can be easily checked simply by getting familiarized with the text of the Minsk agreements. This is not such a long document," Peskov said.
The Kremlin spokesman declined to answer the question about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response to the statement by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy who proposed that Russia should be the first to cancel the counter-measures.
In 2014, the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia over developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia and numerously broadened and extended them.
The EU suspended talks on the visa-free regime and a new basic cooperation agreement, imposed a ban on blacklisted Russian officials for their entry into the European Union and froze their assets, and also introduced other restrictions in the trade, financial and military spheres.
Overall, the EU blacklisted 151 Russian officials and 37 corporate entities. The EU’s sectoral sanctions were imposed against 20 Russian financial, oil producing and defense structures.
In August 2014, Russia imposed a package of counter-measures to the sanctions of the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.
Russia’s counter-measures involved a one-year ban on the imports of fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products from these countries.