MOSCOW, November 25 (Sputnik) — Stable relations with Russia are important for Europe, but the EU political establishment is heavily influenced by Washington, the Freedom Party of Austria's deputy head told Sputnik in an interview on Tuesday.
"I hope the relations [with Russia] will be very good because it is important, there was actually a good relationship… but the European politicians are playing the game of the United States," Johann Gudenus said.
The Austrian politician said that currently there is practically "no will" among European politicians to improve Russian relations. Gudenus also described the sanctions, imposed by the European Union on Russia over its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis as counter-productive, adding that the sanctions are "going to escalate with the pressure from the United States and NATO."
Relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, as European and US leaders blame Moscow for meddling in Ukrainian affairs — a claim that Russia has repeatedly denied. Over the past few months, the European Union, the United States and their allies have implemented several rounds of sanctions targeting Russia's banking, energy and defense sectors, as well as a number of high-ranking officials.