State Duma thinks fresh EU sanctions unlikely

The European Union will be unable to impose fresh sanctions on Russia in June due to the lack of unanimity, the State Duma International Affairs Committee said.

The European Union will be unable to impose fresh sanctions on Russia in June due to the lack of unanimity, the State Duma International Affairs Committee said.

"In respect of a new round of sanctions, I am positive that the European Union is unlikely to impose it because of the objections from some countries - Greece, Cyprus, Hungary and Italy. The decision will not be made if at least one country raises objections and it will be much easier for our opponents to extend the sanctions rather than tighten them," Committee First Deputy Chairman Leonid Kalashnikov told Izvestia.

He added that countries which had backed anti-Russian sanctions had intensified visits of their representatives to Moscow.

"They have realized that they made a mistake. Neither the Americans nor the Europeans behaved in such a manner in the Cold War epoch; neither of them drew up such blacklists, moreover blacklisted parliamentarians. They tried to behave in the same manner, disdainful and condescending, even towards our president at the G20 summit in Brisbane. But that stopped as soon as they realized they were unable to do anything without Russia," Kalashnikov said.

At present, meetings with foreign parliamentarians are taking place at the State Duma on practically a daily basis, and they are seeking a way to resume the dialogue, he said.

Izvestia noted that the period of anti-Russian sanctions declared by the European Union would come to an end in June. There is no final decision as to whether the sanctions will be extended or tightened, the newspaper said.

French President Francois Hollande said that the sanctions might be tightened in the case Russia breached the Minsk deal. At the same time, Hollande and German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel have rather guarded positions on the possible lift of sanctions.

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