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EU to revise sanctions on Russia next spring - diplomat

December 19, 2014, 5:03 UTC+3
“The revision of the sanctions regime against Russia will be considered at a European Council meeting in spring 2015,” the diplomat said
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BRUSSELS, December 19. /TASS/. The European Union will discuss revision of its sanctions regime against Russia in the spring next year, a European diplomat told TASS on Friday on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Brussels, adding that tougher sanctions against Russia were not on the bloc's agenda at present.

“The revision of the sanctions regime against Russia will be considered at a European Council meeting in spring 2015,” the diplomat said.

“At this point, the current restrictive measures against individuals [blacklists of Russian and Ukrainian citizens] will expire, and it will be necessary to decide whether to extend the sanctions or revise them,” he said, noting that “a lot will depend on practical steps to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine”.

The diplomat said the current recessionary financial trends in the Russian economy eliminated the possibility of new EU economic sanctions.

“The deteriorating economic environment in Russia threatens EU countries with stagnation which could undermine their post-crisis recovery efforts,” the diplomat said.

“Under the worst-case scenario and if Russia declares default, European financial institutions will also sustain heavy losses which could have a knock-on effect. That is why new economic sanctions are out of the question,” he added.

At the same time, if the situation in Ukraine escalated again, the EU could expand its blacklist of individuals banning more Russian and Ukrainian nationals from entry to EU member states and freezing their European assets, the diplomat said.

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