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MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma lower house Speaker Sergey Naryshkin says that Russia has allies in the European Union, even in those nations that are subject to the most aggressive anti-Russian propaganda.
"In fact, we have allies in Europe an even in those countries where the governments have the strongest anti-Russian sentiments and promote a most intensive propaganda campaign," Naryshkin said in an interview published on Thursday by the Izvestiya daily.
"We know that society has different moods," he said.
Naryshkin is certain that if all the countries, EU members, were provided with an opportunity to make independent decisions on anti-Russian sanctions — as it should have been done from the point of view of international law — "we would have seen a different picture."
"It is no coincidence that the EU seeks to avoid debates on the issue," the Duma speaker said adding "it may come to the surface that their policy harms them more than Russia."
"In this situation the US benefits more from quite evident weakening of the European countries, their economic potential and estimation among the nations, rather than from mythical isolation of Russia," Naryshkin said.
Discontent with restrictive measures against Russia is on the rise in Europe, Sergey Naryshkin went on to say.
"We are not those who will lift the so-called sanctions as we have not imposed them," Naryshkin said when asked to make a prediction on the future sanctions policy against Russia.
"I can just confirm, citing my foreign counterparts, that discontent with anti-Russian sanctions is on the rise in Europe," he said.
In 2014 the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia over developments in Ukraine and over Crimea’s reunification with Russia and later on prolonged and expanded them. Treaties on visa-free travels and on a new basic cooperation agreement were suspended. Russian officials were banned from entering the EU and their assets were frozen. Restrictions were introduced in trade and the finance and defence sectors.
As many as 151 individuals and 37 legal entities were blacklisted, while sectoral sanctions were imposed against 20 Russian financial, oil producing and defense structures.
Russia will defend the rights of compatriots, seeking from others to observe international law, not violate it, Speaker of the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament added.
The journalists asked Naryshkin if another repartitioning of the world was in the cards, what role Ukraine and its south-east were playing and if the country would repeat the fate of Serbia when the Russian tsar had to come out for protection of this country from Austria-Hungary.
"Without doubt, Russia will defend the rights of its compatriots, of the people close to us," he replied. "However, [Russia] will insist that others should observe international law, but not violate it. We want people to define their fates on their soil by themselves. And we do not agree that someone would separate them."