Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said that the sanctions introduced by the West against Russia over its reunification with Crimea might stay in place forever.
"I even believe that some parts of the existing sanctions, like those that were introduced as a result of the referendum held in Crimea and Sevastopol last year, that this part of the sanctions will remain forever," he told reporters on July 9.
He also described the assumption that the continued sanctions pressure on Russia will force it to change its policies as one of the biggest strategic blunders in modern U.S. and EU foreign-policy line.
Discussing the prospect of Russia lifting the food embargo it imposed on European goods, Ryabkov said that it will happen once the European Union lifts its own anti-Russian sanctions.
"As soon as the EU lifts the economic sanctions against Russia, I am sure we'll do the same. As for the question of when the sanctions should disappear, we should ask those who introduced them," Ryabkov said.
"We are not prepared to resolve this issue through dialogue over any criteria for the lifting of sanctions," he said.
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