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    Relations between Russia and the EU have deteriorated with the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, as western governments imposed economic sanctions on Russia, accusing Moscow of aiding independence supporters in eastern regions of the country.

    EU Left-Wing Political Parties May 'Help Lift' Anti-Russia Sanctions

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    Europe's left-wing political parties could contribute to the lifting of the anti-Russia sanctions by the European Union, speaker of the Hellenic parliament Nikolaos Voutsis told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — EU heads of state are expected to discuss the possibility of extending anti-Russia sanctions during the two-day summit that kicked off in Brussels earlier on Thursday. Ahead of the summit, a source in the German chancellor's office said that French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would recommend the automatic extension of sanctions.

    “Progressive political parties, left-wing parties or social democratic parties, that start looking on current things from a different perspective than it was used before, are a factor that can give a way out, they can form another EU stance to many matters, including the sanctions, to help lift the sanctions,” Voutsis said.

    According to Voutsis, European political parties that work only for the national interest and operate on the base of fear of migrant inflow are leading the bloc to a dead-end.

    “We are striving for changing something concerning the sanctions … It would be a mistake to see the relations with Russia through the prism of destabilization of the EU. On the contrary if there is stabilization on the progressive route and defeat of the ideas of austerity policy and national isolation, this will provide solutions to critical issues including the sanctions,” Voutsis added.

    The European Union and its allies introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions over Crimea rejoining Russia in 2014 and over Moscow's alleged involvement in the conflict between the eastern Ukrainian militia and Kiev. Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.

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    anti-Russian sanctions, European Union, Russia, Greece
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