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Diplomat notes Western sanctions against Russia fail to achieve expected goals

September 30, 12:20 UTC+3 SOCHI
Two years ago, the diplomat said, nobody could have imagined how politics would intervene in economy
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© Alexandr Sherbak/TASS

SOCHI, September 30. /TASS/. The pressure of sanctions on Russia is continuing but it fails to achieve the aims its ideologists had initially anticipated, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said in a panel discussion concerning the effects of economic restrictions at the Sochi-2016 Economic Forum.

He said that two years ago nobody could have imagined how crudely politics would intervene in the economy.

"The current developments contradict the very logic of all economic theories," Meshkov said.

"However, in the modern globalization context the economy cannot be kept in the vice of current politics for too long," Meshkov said. "For this reason the economic sanctions, introduced for purely political reasons, are unable to attain the expected aims, because they run counter to businesses’ objective interests."

"We all remember very well some were saying just recently that the Russian economy would soon be in tatters," the diplomat recalled.

"Last year it grew pretty clear that nothing of the sort happened and that the pressure of sanctions on Russia, although it is still continuing, will not achieve the aims its ideologists had expected."

He remarked that the policy of sanctions was launched in an attempt to bring about a freeze of political contacts, but that did not happen.

"Over the past twelve months alone Russian President Vladimir Putin met with US President Barack Obama five times - each time at the request of the US side. As for political contacts with the heads of the leading European countries, they have got back to normal to become regular."

"What is most encouraging, though, is that the political and economic component of our dialog has begun to be restored," Meshkov said. "Inter-government commissions on economic and trading cooperation are back to full-scale work again. There’ve been meetings of their co-chairs and working groups."

Continuing pressure on Russia by way of the EU sanctions is a dead end that will lead only to a further deterioration in bilateral relations, according to the Russian diplomat. 

As he said, Russia doesn’t make its relations with the EU dependent on the fulfillment of any demands. "We are ready to establish pragmatic cooperation with the EU on the basis of equity and accommodation of mutual interests," the deputy minister added.

"Keeping up the sanctions pressure on Russia is a dead end that will lead only to the further deterioration in trade and economic cooperation," Meshkov stressed. "We regularly draw the EU’s attention to the fact we are not going to discuss any conditions on the lifting of the sanctions."

"At the same time, we emphasize that when and if the EU gives up the policy of sanctions, which undermines its own economic interests, then we will response immediately," the Russian diplomat concluded.

 Washington hinders cooperation between EU, US businesses and Russia

Moscow is ready to work with US and European businessmen but Washington is opposed to the idea of cooperation: 

"We are open to work with US business," the diplomat said.

"But questions concerning this cooperation should be forwarded to Washington, not Moscow."

"I myself have read the instructions issued by the US Department of State that forbid not only the US companies but also the European ones from cooperating with Russia," Meshkov noted.

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