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Belgian parliament’s commission to discuss revoking of anti-Russian sanctions

January 24, 2017, 4:36 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

The text of the resolution cites four reasons for the revoking of EU sanctions

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BRUSSELS, January 24. /TASS/. Belgian parliament’s commission for external affairs will have a second go on Tuesday to discuss a draft resolution on revoking the EU sanctions against Russia, Aldo Carcaci, a member of the parliament’s Chamber of Representatives and the author of the document, told TASS.

The commission was expected to hold hearings of the resolution for the first time on January 10 but its members decided to put the discussion off for two weeks because of an extremely busy agenda.

If the commission endorses the document, a date for a debate on it at a plenary session of the parliament will be appointed.

"The objective of the resolution is to empower the Belgian government to call on the EU Council lift the European sanctions against Russia, as they inflict damage on Belgian farmers," Carcaci, who is a member of the Belgian People’s party, said. "On January 10, the commission for external affairs of the Chamber of Representatives will hold hearings on the resolution."

Belgian-Russian trade, which stood at 15.1 billion euro in 2013, or year preceding the introduction of sanctions against Moscow, has shrunk by 23% to 11.4 billion euro by now, while the Belgian agrarian sector’s output has evidenced a 5% decrease by the most optimistic counts as a result of the anti-Russian measures. The draft resolution contains these figures, the MP said.

The text of the resolution cites four reasons for the revoking of EU sanctions.

It says that, in the first place, they contravene international law, since the UN Security Council is the only body that has appropriate powers for introducing sanctions and it has never imposed any restrictive measures against Russia or supported them.

Secondly, the resolution says the sanctions should be lifted proceeding from the EU’s own logic, as the EU linked their abolition to Russia’s compliance with all the provisions of the Minsk accords on settling the armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine, while Russia is not a party to that conflict.

Thirdly, the document underlines full inefficiency of the sanctions, saying that the Russian economy, which received a blow as a result of the sanctions in 2014, has fully recuperated by now, since the ruble has stabilized and Russia’s macroeconomic indicators look better than those of a number of European countries.

Last but not least, the resolution calls Russia a friend and ally in the struggle against terrorism and extremist organizations like the Islamic State.

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