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SIMFEROPOL, June 9. /TASS/. Western countries make a big mistake by extending sanctions against Crimea, the republic’s leader Sergey Aksyonov has said.
"In my opinion, the Western countries who want to extend the sanctions regime against Russia make a mistake. Their intention is to make as much harm as possible to Russia just for the sake of it, because they are not satisfied with our president’s stance," Aksyonov told TASS on Tuesday. "They have already done what they could. It can hardly be worse."
Aksyonov noted that Crimea has lived "comfortably" under sanctions the past year. "As I look back on the past year, I feel quite comfortable. We've coped. I wouldn’t say we deserve an 'A' rating, but everybody certainly performed well enough," he said. "On the one hand, sanctions do have an adverse effect, but on the other, they consolidate us," the head of Crimea added.
Meanwhile, a source in the European External Action Service told TASS that the extension of EU sanctions against Crimea would not require a political decision and will occur automatically in mid-June.
"The EU sanctions against Crimea will be extended by the middle of June in accordance with the written procedure in the Committee of Permanent Representatives.
The procedure will be performed automatically, it doesn’t require extra political decisions [at the level of foreign ministers]," the source said.