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    Lavrov Says Half of EU Countries Support Lifting of Anti-Russian Sanctions

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sums Up 2014 (17)
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    Almost half of the EU member states start insisting to lift the sanctions the bloc imposed against Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said.

    MOSCOW, January 21 (Sputnik) — Nearly a half of the European Union countries support the idea of lifting sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    "We know that different points of view are expressed within the European Union, but this stage, when almost half of the member states start to insist on lifting the sanctions, shows that when such decisions are made, based on collective responsibility, mechanically, following the US partners… then it becomes very difficult to ‘pull back’," Lavrov said during a press conference in Moscow.

    Following Crimea's reunification with Russia in March 2014, Washington imposed punitive sanctions against Moscow, ranging from individual travel bans and asset freezes to curbs on Russia's key economic sectors.

    The European Union followed the US example, but many leaders in the bloc soon reversed their stance, opposing economic sanctions.

    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, currently on her first visit to the United States since taking office, said on Tuesday that sanctions toward Russia were "flexible" and could be "scaled up and down."

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sums Up 2014 (17)

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