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BRUSSELS, January 22. /TASS/. Finland is concerned with poor relations between Russia and the European Union, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Thursday following his meeting with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
“Finland worries about relations between Russia and the EU,” Niinisto said adding that relations deteriorated due to Russia’s position on the developments in neighboring Ukraine.
“Peace in Ukraine is the first step, which must be taken to improve relations with our neighbor,” the Finnish president added.
The West started imposing sanctions on Russia since March 2014 over the events in Ukraine. First, an early EU summit stalled the talks on a visa-free regime and a new base agreement on Russia-EU cooperation. Further on, the sanctions were grouped into three categories — personal, corporate and sectoral.
By the beginning of September, some 420 Russian individuals and 143 companies had been put on the sanction lists of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland and Norway.
The sectoral sanctions imposed for a term of one year include an embargo on the supply of arms to Russia and the importation of Russian weapons and related materials, a ban on the delivery of dual-purpose products and technologies to Russia, as well as innovative technologies for Russia’s oil extracting industry.
In mid-September, the European Union published new sanctions against Russia in its official journal.
Russia fully banned from August 7, 2014 the imports of meat, fish, cheeses, milk, vegetables and fruits from western countries that had imposed economic sanctions against Russian citizens and companies.
The countries that have slapped sanctions against Russia include the European Union member states, Norway, the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan. Russia’s food imports from these countries amounted to $9.1 billion in 2013, according to the Federal Customs Service, of which the EU accounted for 66%