19 Jul 2019 20:46

European Parliament may evaluate losses from EU-Russia mutual sanctions - paper

MOSCOW. July 19 (Interfax) - European Parliament representatives believe that the European Union should assess losses from its anti-Russian sanctions and Russia's response measures, and then cancel them; Moscow views the initiative positively but predicts that the sanctions struggle is not going to end any time soon, Izvestia said on Friday.

"First we [the European Parliament] need to calculate how much these restrictions have cost both sides - Europe and Russia - in order to later bring up the matter of their cancellation for discussion. Such an evaluation is also needed for the European Parliament to finally acknowledge that the approach has had a zero effect. These measures are prolonged every six months, bringing no result whatsoever," French member of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs Thierry Mariani, who is representing Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement national party, said in an interview with the Russian newspaper.

Mariani has revealed he is going to come up with such an initiative after summer vacations, once the EU has sorted out administrative and personnel issues. In particular, the EU must decide on the European Commission's new line-up that is due to start work in November 2019, Izvestia said

According to member of the German Bundestag's foreign affairs committee Waldemar Herdt (Alternativ fur Deutschland, or Alternative for Germany), debating the matter should become a priority for the new European Parliament. A stance on the problem will become one of the EU foreign policy vectors in coming years, Herdt told the newspaper.

However, Moscow is sure that a review of the sanctions policy is not only in Russia's interests but also meets the needs of the EU itself, admitting that the sanctions story is likely to drag on for years, Izvestia said.

"Russia never requests the lifting of sanctions. We have learned to live with these restrictions and I am sure that EU countries have incurred losses from our countersanctions no less than we have from their sanctions. The main thing is how the European Parliament will act now, and how balanced its stances will be compared to the views of the previous parliament," First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee Vladimir Dzhabarov said in an interview with the newspaper.

Three packages of Europe's anti-Russian sanctions introduced after the Ukrainian events of 2014 are currently in force. Firstly, there are individual restrictions targeting Russian and Ukrainian citizens and firms. Those include EU entry bans and freezing of assets at European banks. Secondly, there are sanctions adopted in relation to Crimea. They prohibit all forms of interaction with the republic. Thirdly, there are economic sectoral sanctions restricting trade with Russia in a number of spheres, Izvestia said.