11:01 GMT06 June 2020
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    The Russian response to EU sanctions is absolutely legitimate as the international law allows the use of counter-measures to protect and restore legitimate interests of a state, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian restrictions against the European officials are legitimate and will continue until the EU lifts individual sanctions against Russian officials over Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

    "We would like to emphasize that the Russian response [to EU sanctions] is absolutely legitimate as the international law allows the use of counter-measures to protect and restore legitimate interests of a state," the ministry said in a statement.

    "We do not have to extend the [European] 'stop-list' periodically as the EU does — it will be enforced until the EU lifts its restrictions [against Russian individuals]. If Brussels shelves its 'black list,' our response will follow immediately," the statement said.

    According to the document, Moscow is hoping that the EU will eventually adopt a pragmatic and reasonable approach to building new political relations with Russia, based on mutually-beneficial economic partnership.

    The European Union's Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) has recently approved the six-month extension of EU sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and legal entities it believes to be responsible for undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity.

    The final decision must be adopted at a meeting of the EU General Affairs Council by September 15.


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