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    'These Sanctions Harm Belgium More Than Russia' – Belgian Lawmaker

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    Anti-Russian sanctions harm Belgian exporters more than Russia, a vital EU ally in the fight against terrorism, Belgian MP Aldo Carcaci told Sputnik France.

    Belgian lawmakers are to vote on a resolution calling for the government to put pressure on the EU to lift economic sanctions against Russia, Aldo Carcaci of the Belgian People's Party (Parti populaire) told Sputnik France.

    The People's Party is a Francophonic Walloon party which is affiliated with the EU's Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe.

    The resolution, which was drafted by Carcasi, is to be debated by the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Belgian parliament's lower chamber after lawmakers return to work in October after their summer break.

    Carcaci, who represents the city of Liege, told Sputnik that the EU's sanctions against Russia were imposed illegally, and without the consent of national parliaments.

    "In my opinion, imposing sanctions against Russia is unjust. I think the EU did not observe international norms and laws when it took these measures. That (imposing sanctions) is the prerogative of the UN Security Council, but that was done. In a word, this is illegal," Carcaci said.

    The MP said that Russia was left with little option but to respond with counter-sanctions, which have harmed Belgian exporters.

    "Russia, for its part, took necessary steps to compensate for the loss of trade agreements with the EU, and with Belgium."

    "Our exporters of fruit and vegetables and hunting weapons are being punished because they are losing out on profit. These sanctions are useless and counterproductive, because they harm Belgian suppliers more than they do Russia," Carcasi said. 

    Carcaci added that Russia's important contribution to the fight against terrorism makes it even more imperative that the EU work with Moscow.

    "Russia is our ally, we have a common culture, we are Europeans and we have common traditions. In addition, Russia is out best ally in the fight against terrorism."

    "I urge the Belgian government to push the EU to lift the sanctions against Russia. Belgium could also say that we don't support anti-Russian sanctions, because they were not imposed according to international law which requires a meeting of the UN Security Council," Carcaci said.

    If passed, the resolution will make Belgium the latest European country to propose the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions. Last month the French Senate adopted a resolution calling on the government to push the EU to lift sanctions against Russia, first imposed following Crimea's decision to join the Russian Federation in March 2014.

    On July 7 the Parliament of Cyprus also adopted a resolution in support of the lifting of sanctions, as have the Italian regions of Lombardy, Tuscany, Veneto and Liguria.


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