14:35 GMT31 May 2020
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    The member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs claims that Brussels needs to restore strong dialogue and cooperation with Moscow as the anti-Russia sanctions lost any economic reasoning and turned into a mere political instrument.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Brussels needs to restore strong dialogue and cooperation with Moscow as the anti-Russia sanctions lost any economic reasoning and turned into a mere political instrument, Marco Zanni, the member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, the Council of the European Union announced the official extension of anti-Russia sanctions, due to expire on July 31, for another six months.

    "Unfortunately sanctions have become only a mere political instrument, without any logical and economic reasoning behind. EU should restart dialogue with Russia, we need to reestablish a strong cooperation in many different field, where we have a common vision and the same interests, for example in giving concrete responses to the three main challenges that the European people are facing today: the economic crisis, the terrorism and the management of refugee flows," Zanni said.

    The lawmaker stressed that the extension of sanctions would be harmful for the EU states themselves.

    "European countries are now facing expectation of a weak economic growth and the sanctions are affecting many fundamental sectors of Member states economies, especially in Countries that enjoyed strong relationships with Russia before the sanctions like Italy," Zanni concluded.

    Commenting on the Council of the European Union's announcement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the sanctions extension was regretful. When asked whether Russia would extend its countermeasures in response to the EU sanctions prolongation, Peskov noted that the principle of reciprocity remained in place.

    The European Union and the Unites States imposed sanctions against Russia in 2014 over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow denied being party to the conflict and replied with retaliatory sanctions against Western food imports.


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