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Putin says sanctions are senseless for Russia and EU

It is not quite clear who suffers from those sanctions more in the long run, the Russian president notes

MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Sanctions against Russia do harm not only to Russia but to the European Union and this policy does not reach its goal, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference after talks with Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

"This [sanctions - TASS] inflicts obvious damage to interests of countries of the European Union and causes damage to Russia, although it is not clear, who suffers more in the long run. Nevertheless, the damage is obvious for all. Most importantly is that goals set by authors of the policy of this kind are not achieved," the Russian leader said. Introduction of such sanctions "is a kind of a meaningless and harmful affair," Putin said.

Steps aimed at sanctions’ lifting "should only be made from both sides," Putin said. "We are ready on our [part] to do everything depending on us in order to rectify the situation," the Russian President said.

Sanctions against Russia

The European Union imposed several sanctions packages against Moscow: economic sanctions, individual restrictions and Crimea-related sanctions.

Sectoral sanctions were initially introduced on July 31, 2014, and covered financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as dual-use goods. Economic sanctions include restricted access to EU’s primary and secondary capital markets for five Russian financial institutions and their subsidiaries founded outside the European Union, in which the state holds a majority stake, as well as for three biggest Russian energy companies and three defense firms.

They also include embargoed weapons trade and ban on exports of dual-use goods for military purposes to Russia, as well as restricted access to certain strategic technologies and services that may be used for oil exploration and production, for Russia.

There are also two independent sanctions packages, related to Ukraine. First, those are individual restrictions, meaning bans on trips and frozen banking assets in Europe (if such exist or have been revealed) for 150 persons and 38 organizations. Finally, there is a package of targeted sanctions against Crimea, which European businesses are banned to hold any ties with.