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Russia has no intention to hold talks with EU over lifting of sanctions — envoy

February 16, 2015, 12:12 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
The European Union has created this problem on its own and it is up to the EU to resolve it, says Russia’s EU envoy
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Russia’s EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov

Russia’s EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov

© ITAR-TASS/Grigoriy Sysoev

BRUSSELS, February 16. /TASS/. Russia has no intention of holding talks with the EU over the lifting of sanctions, Russia’s EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov told TASS in an interview.

"Russia has not conducted any talks with the EU over the lifting of sanctions and it has no intention to do so. The European Union has created this problem on its own and it is up to the EU to resolve it," he believes.

"We have received proposals from our partners in the EU institutions for discussing some criteria for the lifting of sanctions. In other words, what Russia should do for the sanctions to be lifted. We do not enter into such bargaining," Chizhov said.

He believes that these days "neither big nor small countries are interested in prolonging the sanctions."

"Even those which have been calling for making the sanctions tighter are not really interested in that. It’s political gambling. Incidentally, the opinion of European businesses on that score has been expressed ever louder. Both large companies, which have operated on our market for decades, and small and medium businesses, which are hit by the sanctions still harder, and also trade unions are keen to drive the message home. According to various estimates, tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost," he said.

"The current state of the EU economy is rather dull, with the employment situation looking particularly gloomy. I believe that potential voters in the EU countries are developing an ever greater dislike of this state of affairs," Chizhov said. "True, the Russian economy is harmed by sanctions, but so are the EU economies. The Spanish foreign minister estimates the EU countries’ losses at €21 billion. I do not rule out that the size of the damage may prove larger," he concluded.

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