10:01 GMT17 June 2021
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    Further debates on prolongation of EU sanctions against Russia will become more and more difficult because of their negative impact on the European economy, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Friday.

    PRAGUE (Sputnik) – On Thursday, leaders of the EU countries made a political decision to prolong anti-Russian sanctions, which were to expire in late January. The formal decision may be made next week. On Friday, European Council President Donald Tusk said that the decision was made without differences for the first time.

    “I did want to break the EU unity, that is why I supported the [anti-Russian] sanctions. But in the future the European Union will not be able to avoid discussions on the issue and they will become more and more difficult – also because of their negative impact on the European economy,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said.

    He reaffirmed Slovakia’s commitment to the pro-western political course but added that Bratislava wanted to conduct a multi-vector foreign policy. Fico added that Slovakia wanted to maintain friendly relations with Russia and China. The prime minister also called on Ukraine to behave more responsibly avoiding scandals that cannot be ignored by Europe.

    The relationship between Russia and the European Union deteriorated amid the internal conflict in Ukraine and Crimea's reunification with Russia. Although Moscow refuted all the allegations of meddling in Ukrainian internal affairs, a number of Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia, with the Kremlin then introducing response measures and launching the policy to replace foreign imports with domestic products.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Russia has fully adapted to the continued economic pressure from Western sanctions. 

    "We are living in the atmosphere of restrictions and sanctions but we are making good use of them by adapting our economy, and we have finalized the process of adapting our economy to these conditions," he told Russia's Rossiya 24 television channel.

    Peskov said the Russian economy has managed to break the downward spiral and entered the "growth trajectory."


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