21:53 GMT04 June 2020
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the EU to be Russian major trade partner, during a ceremony where the new ambassadors of 20 countries presented their credentials to the President.

    "We consider the European Union an important neighbor and key economic partner… We reaffirm the importance of establishing sustainable contacts between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union, including in the interests of creating a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean in future," Putin said.

    Moreover, the Russian leader noted that the European Union still accounted for nearly half of Russia’s foreign trade volume despite the decrease over the past three years.

    Meanwhile, the European Union along with the United States imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and the Russian defense, energy and banking sectors in late July 2014, following the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. Moscow responded by introducing a yearlong food embargo on several key imports from the countries that have targeted Russia with restrictions, extending the current embargo several times. On September 14, the EU has again prolonged restrictions on Russia over Ukraine's internal conflict.


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