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Oslo Avoids Getting Into Russia-EU Row to Focus on Military Budget Increase

Norwegian ruling parties are trying to avoid speaking about the detriment of anti-Russian sanctions and Moscow’s responsive food import restrictions, because they want to keep the focus on the increase of the country’s military budget, the chairman of Norway’s Communist Party told Sputnik Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — Following Crimea's reunification with Russia and the escalation of the internal Ukrainian conflict, the United States, the European Union and their allies, including Norway, introduced economic sanctions against Russia for its alleged interference in Ukraine's affairs.

In response to the Western sanctions, in August 2014 Moscow introduced an embargo on the import of a range of food products from the countries that imposed sanctions. The measure was prolonged earlier this year.

“The ruling parties try to avoid this issue, also, because it will change the focus on the current propaganda-war for increasing the military budget, heading for municipal elections in September this year,” Runa Evensen said.

Norway, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Georgia, Albania and Ukraine, supported the extension of the ongoing EU economic sanctions against Russia until June 23, 2016.

“Those who are involved in producing for the Russian markets already are in trouble, probably mostly in the northern Norwegian areas.”

In late July, a communications manager with the German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Julia Fellinger, told Sputnik that Norway, of all the European countries, had been hit hardest by the anti-Russia sanctions and Moscow’s retaliatory ban on food imports.

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