MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – The decision of the European Union to impose sanctions against Russia was made independently, based on the block's own assessment of the situation, spokesperson for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Maja Kocijancic told RIA Novosti Friday.
"The EU has taken independent, autonomous decisions to impose restrictive measures against Russia in light of the gravity of the situation in Ukraine and Russia['s] role in it," Kocijancic said, commenting on a statement by US Vice President Joe Biden on the role of the United States in the EU decision regarding sanctions.
Biden said Thursday that the United States, and US President Barack Obama in particular, forced EU members to "take economic hits to impose cost" on Russia.
“It is true that they did not want to do that but again it was America’s leadership and the President of the United States insisting,” Biden noted, speaking at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
Over the past few months, the United States has introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs – claims that Russia has repeatedly denied. The EU and US allies have followed in Washington's footsteps, drawing up their own blacklists.
In August Moscow responded to western sanctions, implementing a one-year ban on certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.