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“Our primary task is to stop the race of sanctions and counter-sanctions and prevent the new ones. The second goal is to try to find compromise decisions that would allow leaving the sanctions in the past,” said the high-ranking Spanish official, who is in charge of improving the country’s image abroad in the economic, social, cultural, scientific and technological spheres.
“I do not know whether the current level of talks between Russia and the European Union is advanced enough to cancel the sanctions by this spring. I hope it is. Anyway, we’ve got a few months to work hard on that,” he told the newspaper.The official added that Spain is among the countries that believe sanctions have no positive effect, although as a member of the EU, Madrid supports decisions of the member-states. “I think, the Russian government is aware of our stance,” he said.
“We are striving to have the sanctions lifted as soon as possible. We have an understanding that Russia and the EU are two natural allies,” Carlos Espinosa stressed.
The official acknowledged that the consequences of Russia’s counter-measures for the Spanish agriculture sector are very serious. “Of course, people working in this sector are calling for a swift abandonment of sanctions by both sides,” he said.
Russia came under Western sanctions, originally visa bans and asset freezes and later sectoral restrictions amid the Ukrainian crisis. In response, Moscow imposed on August 7 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway.