"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.