PETERSBERG /Germany/, July 18. /TASS/. The European Union’s policy of sanctions geared to frustrate Russia’s technological and economic development has bounced off in billiards-worth losses for European countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.
"Life has shown: the policy geared to hinder Russia’s economic and technological development has entailed negative impacts on European businesses and European consumers," he said at the plenary session of the Petersburg Dialogue forum. "By today, losses have amounted to billions of euros. As far as I know, there are a study by the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations on that matter."
According to the Russian top diplomat, the anti-Russian "illegitimate unilateral sanctions" run counter to the "positive changes and prospects for cooperation between Russia and Germany."
Lavrov recalled that the European Union had imposed its anti-Russian sanctions as response to Russia’s support to people living in Crimea and Donbass who "refused to recognize national radicals who came to power in Kiev as a result of a state coup to unleash a war on the Russian language, Russian culture and Russian values and proclaim Nazi accomplices as their heroes."
Following the developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014, the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia, which have been extended and expanded regularly ever since. Talks on visa-free travel and a new framework cooperation agreement were suspended, a number of Russian officials were banned to enter the European Union and their assets were frozen. Apart from that, the European Union imposed trade, financial and defense-related restrictions.
The Petersburg Dialogue forum was set up in 2001 at the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the then German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to promote open exchange of opinion between politicians, people of science and culture, businessmen and civil societies.