Russia could develop more intensive trade and economic interaction with the EU, but it is constrained by illegal unilateral sanctions imposed by the European Union against the Russian Federation, Director of the Fourth European Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Yuri Pilipson told RIA Novosti.
“In the trade and economic sphere, we could develop more intensive cooperation, but it is restrained by the illegal unilateral sanctions imposed by the EU against our country. This is not our choice. When the EU members lift the restrictions, we will be able to reconsider the response measures,” Pilipson said in an interview RIA News.
Relations between Russia and Western countries deteriorated in connection with the situation in Ukraine and around Crimea, which was reunited with Russia following a referendum held on the peninsula. The West, accusing Russia of interfering, imposed sanctions against it, Moscow retaliated, embarked on a course of import substitution and has repeatedly stated that it is counterproductive to speak with it in the language of sanctions, adding that they will not take action. Russia has also repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and a subject of the Minsk settlement agreements. Moscow has repeatedly denied all accusations of “aggressive actions”, cyber attacks and interference in the affairs of other countries, calling them unfounded.