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MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he hopes the United States will need less time to realize that economic blockade of other countries is senseless than in the case with Cuba.
In an interview with the Kommersant business daily, Lavrov commented on Washington’s recent statements regarding relations with Havana.
“We have not only been waiting for it, we have insisted [on it] for many decades because it has been evident to everyone that that trade and economic blockade on the part of the United States is just senseless and counterproductive and does not do credit to such a country as the United States,” he said.
“You can take offense at everyone, but you need to somehow compare your specific reaction with what is, in the pragmatic sense, at stake,” Lavrov said.
“It was clear long ago that isolation does not prevent Cuba from developing relations with the European Union and Canada, not to speak about countries of Latin America, the Russian Federation and China,” he said. “Each year, at the UN General Assembly sessions in our speeches we have not only called for termination of this senseless blockade, but we have also voted for a relevant resolution.”
“Thank God, Washington finally heard that,” Lavrov said. “This is a very positive step. It took a lot of time, but still.”
According to the top Russian diplomat, “it is very important that US President Barack Obama, when he announced that agreement, found courage to say: his administration realized that the blockade brought nothing.”
“I hope that in order to realize the senselessness of such blockades regarding other countries, it will take much less time - it will only be in the interests of the United States,” Lavrov told a journalist who said it had taken 50 years this time.
At the same time, the minister said that it is too early to rejoice at the developments as only the first steps have been made.
“They are rather important from the humanitarian point of view, but in many respects are symbolical, because the main part of trade restrictions has remained,” he explained.
“The weakening of the ban on Americans’ travels to Cuba does not concern tourists. There are a number of other things that depend not so much on US President Barack Obama than on Congress, where the Republican Party will dominate from January 1, 2015,” Lavrov said.
“I don’t know to what extent the Republicans will find forces and commonsense in themselves to assess the situation not from the viewpoint of a small group of anti-Castro-set voters but from the viewpoint of US interests and the development of the entire American region,” he said.