MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. Russia will respond to renewal of European Union’s sanctions on the basis of the reciprocity principle, press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
"We reiterate, the reciprocity principle is the basis of our approach in the exchange of sanctions," Peskov said.
"Russia believes these sanctions are unjustified and unlawful. However, we have never initiated sanction measures before and do not initiate them now," Kremlin spokesman said. This practice "does not only prejudice the interests of economic activity participants in our country but also the interests of these countries, that is, interests of taxpayers of the European states," Peskov said.
TASS reported earlier the EU Council at the foreign ministers’ level has extended the economic sanctions against Russia for six months until January 31, 2016, a spokeswoman for the council’s external affairs service said.
Susanne Kiefer said the decision on extending the restrictive measures has been taken and comes in an effort to implement in full the February 12 Minsk agreements on Ukraine.
The latest decision was made without any discussion being held. In fact, Kiefer announced it until the foreign ministers of all 28 member-states arrived for the meeting in Luxembourg.
The EU countries reached a compromise in principle on the sanctions issue at the session of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) on June 17.