MOSCOW, January 21 /TASS/. The European Union does not have consensus on whether it should extend or lift the anti-Russian sanctions, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said in an interview aired by the Rossiya 24 TV news channel on Wednesday.
“The specific nature of the European Union consists in the need of reaching consensus in making decisions - whether they concern the lifting or extension of sanctions, which are expiring in March,” Chizhov said adding that in his view the European Union had no consensus on the matter of sanctions.
“That is why I have called your attention to a proposal made by (EU Foreign and Security Policy Chief Federica) Mogherini who suggests separating the penalties imposed after the return of Crimea (by Russia) from the rest of the sanctions. I think that this is exactly how the EU political thought is going to develop,” Chizhov added.
“As for the Monday meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers, they did not fully support or turn down a proposal to increase pressure on Russia. The discussion that took place on Monday had been declared as a strategic discussion aimed at working out a long-term policy towards Russia. It would be wrong to expect them to make the final conclusion during one meeting. That is why the meeting ended with no conclusions,” Chizhov went on to say.
“I suspect that this discussion will go on till the European Union summit due in March. It will coincide with the first anniversary of the anti-Russian sanctions. Let’s wait and see where that will lead them to in March,” Chizhov said adding that the European Union continued to lack political will to change its policy towards Russia.
“The European Union remains in captivity of its own convictions based on unilateral and one-sided information which does not correspond to reality in many ways,” Russia’s ambassador to EU said.
“The European Union has not yet gathered a political will to get off the track on which it is moving. It does not mean that hawks are dominating in the EU. But those who understand the need of a political dialogue with Russia are not converting their thoughts into practical actions,” Chizhov said.
Russia will lift its restrictive measures against the EU as soon as the latter revokes its anti-Russian sanctions, Chizhov said. "Russian manufacturers will get an opportunity to occupy places in the market as a result the measures taken in response," he said.
"This doesn't mean however that Moscow introduced its restrictive sanctions forever because our prohibitions will go as soon as they lift their own sanctions," Chizhov said.