"It should be said that Croatia supports all EU decisions, including the sanctions regime against Russia. It does more harm to Croatia, as our retaliatory measures cost Croatian agricultural producers 40 million euros [$47 million] annually. It is mostly fruit and seafood supplies. Famous and delicious Croatian tangerines do not reach the Russian market, while some time ago they, together with pears and apples, were a large part of the agricultural export," the diplomat said.
Azimov added that since the sanctions were imposed, local businesses have reduced their exports by about $294 million.
"The public… I would say that the public is dissatisfied with these sanctions. It understands that these restrictions, first and foremost, hit the economy. Businessmen have a similar stance. In this respect, I rely on the public and the business community to encourage Croatia to join at least 10 EU states which speak for easing the sanctions or for lifting them," the ambassador concluded.
Several rounds of EU sanctions against Russia have been in place since 2014, following Crimea's reunification with Russia and the latter's alleged involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Russia has refuted all the accusations and enforced retaliatory economic restrictions.