02:22 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks during an interview with Reuters in Bratislava, Slovakia, February 22, 2016

    Anti-Russia Sanctions Futile But EU 'Must Be United' - Slovak PM

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    There is no sense in anti-Russian sanctions as nobody profits from them but EU member states cannot go against the common stance of the bloc disrupting its unity, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Tuesday.

    PRAGUE (Sputnik) – Fico added that Slovakia had limited opportunities to influence the EU policy.

    "Which opportunities does an EU member state’s prime minister have? We are bringing rather clear arguments against the sanctions. Who profits from these sanctions given that within one or two years the turnover between Slovakia and Russia decreased by 30 percent?" Fico said.

    "The sanctions are meaningless but the European Union must be united. In such situation one can say that he does not like that, can protest but for the sake of the EU unity one cannot go against the mainstream point of view," Fico said at the Comenius University in Bratislava, as quoted by the Teraz media outlet.

    Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated in 2014 after the overwhelming majority of the Crimean population voted in a referendum to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia. The move prompted the United States, European Union and their allies to impose sanctions on both Russia and Crimea.

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    anti-Russian sanctions, Robert Fico, Europe, Slovakia
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