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    Czech Prime Minister Slams Anti-Russian Sanctions: Reports

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    Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has criticized the anti-Russian sanctions, imposed by the European Union and the United States this week, speaking at a meeting of the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party, which is leading the country's ruling three-party coalition, Novinky magazine reported Saturday.

    PRAGUE, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has criticized the anti-Russian sanctions, imposed by the European Union and the United States this week, speaking at a meeting of the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party, which is leading the country's ruling three-party coalition, Novinky magazine reported Saturday.

    "I'm convinced that the escalation of economic sanctions is not a solution. Surely, they will worsen the economic situation in Russia, but it will not affect Russia's political stance on Ukraine," Sobotka said.

    In his speech, the prime minister referred to the fact that in recent weeks the leaders of the opposition parties have repeatedly criticized him for the negative attitude towards the anti-Russian sanctions.

    "The right-wing parties sharply criticize us for actually protecting our national interests... But I still believe that an attempt to pile up sanctions is not the solution. Consistent political dialogue would be the solution," Sobotka said.

    American and European leaders announced a new round of sanctions on Friday, targeting Russian financial institutions as well as the energy sector. The announcement marked the third round of sanctions imposed on Russia. Many in Europe have been wary of severing critical economic ties with Russia, particularly in the energy sector, because of the economic impact it will have on fragile and recovering European economies.

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