Dmitry Medvedev orders preparation of address on prolongation of restrictive measures in response to EU sanctions

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the preparation of an address to the Russian president on the prolongation by six months of Russian restrictive measures in regard to the EU decision to prolong sanctions.

"Sergei Eduardovich [Prikhodko], with regard to the fact that the European Union has prolonged by half a year the sanctions against Russia, I am asking you to prepare my address to the president proposing to extend the presidential decree on the introduction of restrictive measures by Russia for this period of time," Medvedev said during a meeting with deputy prime ministers.

Medvedev also ordered the preparation of an appropriate government decree "outlining the categories of projects and objects of foreign trade deals to which the Russian restrictive measures apply."

The Russian Foreign Ministry has offered critique on the EU decision to extend sectoral sanctions against Russia until January 31, 2016.

"Brussels has intentionally kept silent that this [the extension of the sanctions] will assuredly entail job losses by hundreds of thousands, and by some estimates several million Europeans," the ministry's Department of Information and Press said on its website.

"We are very disappointed that the opinion of the Russophobic lobby, which pushed the decision to extend the illegal restrictions, has again prevailed in the European Union," the Russian Foreign Ministry information and press department said in a commentary posted on the ministry website on Monday.

"The European Union is by inertia attributing full responsibility for the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements to Russia," the commentary said.

"The absurdity of this approach has long been obvious to everyone. The key to the settlement of the internal Ukrainian conflict was and remains in the hands of Kyiv, and it is not in a hurry to fulfill its obligations," it said.

"It is especially cynical that the decision to extend anti-Russian sanctions was made by EU countries on June 22, the date on which Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union," the Foreign Ministry said.

"We would like to believe that this is just a coincidence, not a deliberate step," it added.

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