BRATISLAVA, June 1. /TASS/. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has called for cancelation of the European Union’s anti-Russian sanctions.
"The sanctions have not produced the expected effect. They have harmed both Europe and Russia. I don’t know who may be happy with that reciprocal damage," Fico said on the eve of his official visit to Russia, due Tuesday, in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman.
He said sanctions cannot be the content of politics. "They may only be the tool or one of the tools in the resolution of emerging complex situations," the premier underscored.
Second, he said, historical experience testifies to inefficiency of that mechanism of pressure.
"What have sanctions achieved regarding Cuba? The United States imposed embargos and sanctions that have not changed Cuba’s attitude toward the United States and the US attitude toward Cuba," Fico recalled.
In that context, the Slovak premier also explained the position he stuck to in the issue of anti-Russian sanctions in the EU’s power bodies.
"When we discussed the issue at the European Council, I approached that in a reasonable way. I said that if sanctions harm both the European Union and the Russian Federation, what is their sense?" he said.
At the same time, Fico linked the possibility of the soonest cancelation of the anti-Russian sanctions with implementation of the Minsk agreements.
"We do not need sanctions or saber-rattling; we need a peaceful dialogue and specific results. If the Minsk agreements are implemented, I will be the first person to vote for further support of their implementation through easing of sanctions. In my view, it is the rightest approach," the Slovak premier underscored.