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Russia's EU envoy says attempts to influence Moscow's policy through sanctions ineffective

Russia's Permanent Representative at the EU Vladimir Chizhov said that sanctions against Moscow "make interests of European business also suffer a lot"

ATHENS, March 1. /TASS/. Attempts to influence Russia's policy through sanctions are ineffective, Russian Permanent Representative at the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday at the 4th Delphi Economic Forum.

"Speaking about economy I need to emphasize that attempts to influence Russia's policy via sanctions are ridiculous," Chizhov said. "Events of recent years demonstrated that such efforts are vain and, by the way, make interests of European business also suffer a lot, as well as our relations in general, including with our largest trade and economic partner - the European Union," he added.

"Against this backdrop the easiest thing for Russia would be to follow a trend that is in fashion today and to 'pivot to Asia', especially since it is there that the bigger part of my country's territory lies. Actually we are increasingly active in developing mutually beneficial cooperation with the PRC, ASEAN countries and other Asian partners, but we are not doing it to undermine or punish Europe. We do not make friends 'against Europe' or the West as a whole," he continued.

"Russia, as a country located on two continents and thereby uniting Eurasia by virtue of its geography, history and cultural tradition, is genuinely interested in maintaining equally friendly relations on the West and on the East," Chizhov said.

"Currently leaders of major EU countries are more and more often thinking of a new configuration of cooperation in Europe and more outspoken about the need to take their fate in their hands. I believe it is important that EU member states remember that they will not be able to uphold their positions against rising economic giants - in Asia today, in Latin America tomorrow, in Africa the day after tomorrow - unless they listen closely to Russia's words about establishing a common economic and humanitarian space in Eurasia. Defedning what we call 'European civilization' is only possible if one of its supporting pillars, Russia, is fully engaged," he explained.

According to the diplomat, modern international law system was formed in the framework of the institutions established after World War II, namely the United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and NATO.

"However, today this term of international law has been subjected to revision and erosion," Chizhov noted. "Instead of this well-known and clear term for several years our European and US partners have been including in their speeches and official documents a phase 'internationally recognized rules and norms'. Moreover, they gradually try to accustom to it their interlocutors around the world," he said.

As a responsible international player, a nuclear power and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia is concerned with this situation, the diplomat said. Over the past decades, Russia has put forward many far-reaching initiatives aimed at enhancing world order based on international law and creating such a security system, most notably in Europe, which would ensure equal guarantees for all. "But Russia has never tried to monopolize this work and was always open for cooperation with everyone who was ready to take part in it," Chizhov said.