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MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. Russia’s independent political course and restoration of its economic might were the real cause for Western sanctions against Moscow, while the conflict in neighboring Ukraine was an excuse to initiate the sanctions, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.
“The real cause was the assumed course towards the independent development of our country, the course towards the independent political policy, the course towards the restoration of the economic might of our country,” Rogozin said in an interview with Rossiya-1 television channel.
The deputy premier said that the United States and its President Barack Obama personally as well as the European Union are using the events in Ukraine as a tool to exert pressure on Russia.
“Ukraine is an excuse and the real cause is where we [Russia] are heading,” Rogozin said adding that the European Union “unfortunately suppressed its will to independent thinking and obeys NATO logic.”
The West started imposing sanctions on Russia since March 2014 over the events in Ukraine. First, an early EU summit stalled the talks on a visa-free regime and a new base agreement on Russia-EU cooperation. Further on, the sanctions were grouped into three categories — personal, corporate and sectoral.
By the beginning of September, some 420 Russian individuals and 143 companies had been put on the sanction lists of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland and Norway.
The sectoral sanctions imposed for a term of one year include an embargo on the supply of arms to Russia and the importation of Russian weapons and related materials, a ban on the delivery of dual-purpose products and technologies to Russia, as well as innovative technologies for Russia’s oil extracting industry.
In mid-September, the European Union published new sanctions against Russia in its official journal.
Russia fully banned from August 7, 2014 the imports of meat, fish, cheeses, milk, vegetables and fruits from western countries that had imposed economic sanctions against Russian citizens and companies.
The countries that have slapped sanctions against Russia include the European Union member states, Norway, the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan. Russia’s food imports from these countries amounted to $9.1 billion in 2013, according to the Federal Customs Service, of which the EU accounted for 66%.