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MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. The European Union’s decision to extend sanctions on Russia for non-compliance with the Minsk Agreements is absurd, Chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Thursday.
"The wording used by (European Council President Donald) Tusk is absurd, as he said that sanctions are extended over Russia’s lack of implementing the Minsk Agreements," Slutsky said. "It is actually puzzling," he added.
According to the senior Russian lawmaker, Moscow has grown tired of repeating that it was a party neither to the Minsk Agreements nor to the Ukrainian conflict. "The European Union continues to ignore the reality and prefers not to respond to Kiev’s brazen sabotage of the Minsk Agreements. These are the good old double standards, which damage Europe, in the first place," Slutsky pointed out.
He believes that the European Union is being led by the US and is cornering itself by extending sanctions once again. According to Slutsky, in the three years that have passed since sanctions were imposed, Europe has faced more damage than Russia.
On June 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual televised question and answer session that according to the United Nations, Russia "lost some $50 billion or $52 billion, while the countries that introduced sanctions lost $100 billion."
The 28 member states of the European Union earlier agreed to extend sanctions against Russia for another six months.
"Agreed. The EU will extend economic sanctions against Russia for their lack of implementing the Minsk Agreement," European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted.
In 2014, the European Union and the United States imposed sanctions on Moscow over the situation in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Some of the Russian officials were barred from entering EU counties and the US, their assets were frozen. Besides that, trade, financial and military restrictions were also introduced. Sanctions have been repeatedly extended and expanded.