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MOSCOW, July 9 /TASS/. The assumption that Russia will give up Crimea under the pressure of sanctions is the biggest mistake of the US and EU foreign policies, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told journalists on Thursday.
"Our restrictive measures (against a number of western countries) depend on the EU actions. Our position remains firm and extremely clear: we were not the first to impose the economic restrictions; all the actions undertaken by Russia were a response, which was fully based on the principle of reciprocity," the Russian diplomat said.
"As soon as the European Union lifts its sanctions imposed on Russia, I am sure that Moscow will do the same. And all the products, which are currently under embargo, will be returned. But the sanctions imposed over Crimea may last forever because Moscow will never change its stance on Crimea," Ryabkov went on to say.
Part of the sanctions linked to Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia may last forever because "we are not planning to change our decision on Crimea," Ryabkov stressed. "To think that Russia will change its policy under the sanctions, if they remain in force, is one of the biggest mistakes of a modern foreign policy pursued by the United States and the European Union," the deputy foreign minister said.
"The sanctions imposed on Russia are absolutely illegitimate, and if we discuss the criteria under which they could be lifted, we will be legitimizing them so to speak," Ryabkov concluded.