MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union countries are “not excited” by imposing further sanctions against Russia and would opt for a political dialogue instead, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“I think that everyone loses when time-serving unilateral ideas, ideas of geopolitical nature, start intervening into partnership-building processes. I'm convinced that the countries — at least, European countries — who now have to make a decision about imposing some kind of sanctions, are not excited about it and would rather prefer using other methods, first of all, the political ones," Lavrov told reporters.
Over the past weekend, the European Union extended sanctions against another 15 Russian officials, as well as representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. Sanctions were also imposed against a number of Crimean entities.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that the Commission had adopted legislative proposals on sectoral sanctions against Russia targeting capital markets, defense, dual use goods, and sensitive technologies, including in the energy sector. The proposals are due to be discussed by EU member states on July 29.
At the same time, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at a press conference in parliament over the past weekend that his country was not planning to follow the EU in strengthening sanctions against Russia.
“What the EU does is a matter for the EU. We certainly have no plans to increase our sanctions,” Abbott said.
Earlier this month, the US Treasury introduced the so-called Sectoral Sanctions Identification List that affects companies and institutions in defense, energy and banking sectors of the Russian economy. The move followed the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine.
Earlier this year, the United States and the European Union imposed targeted sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies as a response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called the language of sanctions counterproductive and said these measures would have a boomerang effect on European economies.