MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's Permanent Ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said Monday he expected the anti-Russia EU sanctions to expire as soon as summer 2016.
"I think that at some point, I hope that already in the summer, they [sanctions] will simply no longer be in force," Chizhov said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television.
Relations between Russia and the European Union member states went downhill in 2014, when Brussels joined Washington in accusing Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis and imposed several rounds of sanctions as a punitive measure.
The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive. In response to the Western restrictive measures, in August 2014, Russia announced a one-year food embargo on some products originating in states that imposed sanctions against it. The ban has since been extended for another year.
The EU economic sanctions against Russia, prolonged several times since their introduction, are due to expire on July 31, 2016.