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MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. Sanctions against Russia are on the conscience of those who imposed them, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday after talks with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias.
"We appreciate the position of the Greek government that understands the absolute counter-productivity of attempts to speak to Russia in such language."
"Our Western partners have forgotten that they signed the Agreement of February 21: they said the situation changed," the foreign minister said.
"And after Kiev’s attack in the south-east failed, but on the contrary the militia grew strong and started defending its land, sanctions were imposed against Russia ‘in revenge’ for that," he said.
"That is on the conscience of those involved in it," Lavrov said.
Russian officials and companies came under the first batch of Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March 2014 after the February 2014 coup.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
The West announced new, sectoral, restrictions against Russia in late July 2014, in particular, for what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in protests in Ukraine’s southeast.
In response, Russia imposed on August 6, 2014 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.
New punitive measures against Russia were imposed in September 2014.