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Montenegro regrets being included in Russia's tit-for-tat sanctions list

August 14, 2015, 8:39 UTC+3 BELGRADE

Russia on Thursday added Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and Liechtenstein to its sanctions list

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© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinsky

BELGRADE, August 14. /TASS/. Montenegro’s government has expressed regret over the decision to expand a list of countries falling under counter-sanctions imposed by Moscow on a number of European and North American countries.

"The government of Montenegro regrets the decision by the government of the Russian Federation on including Montenegro in the list of countries falling under a ban on imports of agricultural products, raw materials and foodstuffs," a report placed on the governmental website said.

"At this moment, the Montenegrin government does not have the list of products the Thursday’s decision covers but it remains committed to the upkeep of political dialogues with Russia and to the buildup of serious relations in all the areas presenting mutual interest," the report said. "Also, it actively supports an earliest possible elimination of the causes that triggered the imposition of restrictive measures by the EU."

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting on Thursday that he had signed an instruction to expand a list of countries falling under Russian sanctions.

"Russia banned imports of some agricultural products from the European Union, Australia, Canada, Norway and the United States in August last year. Now, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and the County of Liechtenstein have joined the list. Ukraine has been included in the list on special terms," the Russian prime minister said. He explained that those five new countries had previously supported the EU decision to extend sanctions against Russia.

Medvedev explained that the countries, which he mentioned, had knowingly made a decision to side with the European Union in question of extending the anti-Russian sanctions. "They said their decision to join the EU sanctions against Russia was motivated by a number of agreements with the European Union," Medvedev went on to say.

"This stance is only partly fair. I would like to note that a number of countries, which have a similar agreement with the European Union, have refused to impose sanctions against Russia. So, the decision to join the anti-Russian sanctions was a conscious choice, which means that the countries who did that are ready for the retaliatory measures, which we have imposed on them," Medvedev concluded.

According to the Federal Customs Service of Russia, the overall imports to Russia from Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Ukraine in 2014 amounted to $11.048 bln, or 3.8% of the total value of imports ($286.7 bln). In this case, the share of products, which came under sanctions was $656.2 mln, or 5.9%. In 2014, Montenegro supplied goods worth $6 million to Russia. Of this volume, the value of products which is subject to counter-sanctions was $40,000 (6.7 tonnes of vegetables and 37.4 tonnes of fruit).

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