BRUSSELS, August 4. /TASS/. Moscow does not allow the European Union (EU) to use sanctions as an instrument of exerting pressure on Russia in talks on Ukraine and other problematic issues, a source in EU told TASS on Tuesday.
"Russia consistently moves away from discussing conditions for removing sanctions which deprives [EU] of possibility to use this issue as lever in diplomatic negotiations," the source said.
"If Russia was ready to make concessions like it happened in a situation with Iran, the issue of lifting sanctions could be solved diplomatically, in exchange for Moscow’s reciprocal steps in the situation around Ukraine, but Russia has systematically refused such format a of discussion," the source explained.
Thus, EU’s restrictive measures play the role of "an obstacle both for Russian and European economy," the diplomat noted. "In fact, the only reason to keep European restrictive measures against Russia is only to demonstrate the European Union’s readiness not to leave Russia’s policy in Ukraine without reaction, even if it leads to short-term economic losses for European countries. By doing this, we demonstrate our decisiveness," the source added.
In June, the European Union extended economic sanctions against Russia until the end of January 2016.