GORKI, June 2. /TASS/. The European Union member-countries during their meeting in June must seek the implementation of the Minsk agreements by both parties to the Ukrainian conflict, said Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. In the event of full implementation of the provisions of this document it’s necessary to move away from the sanctions regime, he noted.
"Slovakia’s government has always considered the EU sanctions to be just a tool, not a political decision. At the European Union meeting in June, the issue of implementing the Minsk accords by both sides is important for us, as far is this conflict is concerned," Fico said following talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
"If we observe such implementation, we will support the process of moving away from sanctions," Fico said, noting that the sanctions issue had not been discussed in detail during Tuesday’s talks.
On the other hand, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev noted that Russia would answer symmetrically if the European Union passed new decisions on anti-Russian sanctions.
"Our EU partners will gather in July to discuss a number of issues. If new decisions [on sanctions against Russia] are adopted, we are going to respond symmetrically. If not, we are going to preserve the positions we have now," Medvedev said.
The Russian prime minister added that Europe itself had suffered considerable losses from the anti-Russian sanctions. For example, the sanctions have radically decreased the trade turnover between Russia and Slovakia.
"Who lost what should be calculated. Those who invented those sanctions and have been insisting on their future preservation with stubbornness worth of better application should think of that," Medvedev went on to say.
He said he had discussed the sanctions problem from exactly that angle during Tuesday’s talks with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.
Medvedev noted that Russia had established good relations with a number of EU countries but the anti-Russian sanctions were "the European Union’s collective responsibility."