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Austria seeks to lift EU anti-Russian sanctions — president

April 06, 2016, 10:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to President Heinz Fischer, Austria takes an active part in discussions on this issue inside the EU

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Austria’s President Heinz Fischer

Austria’s President Heinz Fischer

© Alexander Shalgin/Russian State Duma Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Austria considers it necessary to consider the ways of lifting sanctions introduced by the European Union against Russia, the country’s President Heinz Fischer said on Wednesday.

"I always say that sanctions are not beneficial for both sides," he said at the meeting with Russia’s State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin.

"It is important to draw up a way to lift them in the near future and to overcome these sanctions," Fischer added.

Fischer stressed that Austria takes an active part in discussions on this issue inside the EU. "Our position in these issues is that it is necessary to consider the opportunity to develop cooperation with Russia in all the spheres," he added.

In 2014, the EU and the US imposed sanctions against Russia over developments in Ukraine and have repeatedly extended and expanded them. On August 7, 2014, Russia took a package of retaliatory measures in response to the sanctions imposed by the EU, the US, Australia, Canada and Norway. The so-called counter-sanctions implied a ban on imports of fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat products to Russia from these countries.

The decision on lifting or extending economic sanctions against Russia is expected to be discussed at the EU summit in Brussels this June. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said earlier there would be no automatic renewal of Russia sanctions and the decision would be made after an extensive political discussion.

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