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Western anti-Russian sanctions a strategic mistake — British diplomat

July 24, 2014, 11:37 UTC+3 LONDON
Former British Ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton described the anti-Russian sanctions as “negligible” and suggested the West quits its sanctions policy and start using diplomacy
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British Ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton

British Ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton

© EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY

LONDON, July 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Western anti-Russian sanctions will not work since the US and European Union course for tougher measures against Russia is counterproductive, said former British Ambassador to Russia Tony Brenton.

“The West has deployed sanctions against Russia/USSR six times since the Second World War. They have never worked,” he is quoted by The Daily Telegraph on Thursday. “In countries as prickly as Russia, sanctions simply strengthen the forces most hostile to the West” and the people’s determination to fight difficulties.

Brenton described the anti-Russian sanctions as “negligible” and suggested the West quits its sanctions policy and start using diplomacy. The West should resolve the Ukraine crisis in cooperation with Russia, though this would be a hard decision, the diplomat added, but a new Cold War was in nobody’s interests.

On July 16, the EU summit in Brussels decided to somewhat expand the sanctions against Russia without imposing trade and economic prohibitive measures. The EU leaders instructed the European Commission to prepare a black list expansion within a month to include Russian and Ukrainian organizations and individuals who materially or financially support the actions disrupting Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

The summit also decided to suspend new projects in Russia financed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank (EIB) as well as revise all support programs for Russia financed from the EU budget except those connected with cross-border cooperation or promotion of civil society.

The US has also announced fresh anti-Russian sanctions on July 16. The black list was expanded with several new individuals and defense companies and organizations in Russia and Ukraine.

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