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EU decision on sanctions testifies to Western inability to understand Russia — lawmaker

June 17, 2015, 18:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The EU Committee of Permanent Representatives has reached an agreement on Wednesday to extend economic sanctions against Russia by six months
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© AP Photo/Yves Logghe

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Wednesday’s decision of EU permanent representatives to extend anti-Russian economic sanctions by six months attests to the Europeans’ inability to understand Russia and foresee its response, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

The senator pointed to the fact that the permanent representatives’ decision would be endorsed at a meeting of foreign ministers "on a symbolic date - June 22." "It’s more than likely that this date rings no bell with many Europeans, which is a pity," he writes. "Those who were going to have an effect on Russians will, undoubtedly, achieve the desired effect. This is not, however, the kind of effect they meant. And that explains all the problems Europeans are facing in their attempts to understand Russia and foresee our response, to be more precise, their inability to do so," the parliamentarian noted.

Kosachev added that "the sanctions were an internal affair of the EU member-countries" and "Russia should not make them a matter of negotiation or a bargaining chip." "On the other hand, I must admit it will be very interesting to see how our European partners are going to get out of the sanctions trap they have lured themselves into," Kosachev said.

The EU Committee of Permanent Representatives has reached an agreement on Wednesday to extend economic sanctions against Russia by six months. Their tightening is not discussed. The formal decision may be taken on June 22.

The EU economic sectoral sanctions against Russia were imposed on August 1, 2014. They include restrictions in lending to key Russian state-owned banks, defence and oil industry enterprises. Russia’s natural gas industry has not been affected by the EU restrictions.

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