"We have repeatedly expressed our readiness to cancel countermeasures. But the first move in this direction should be made by the European Union, which went on with unwinding the sanctions spiral. We hope that common sense will ultimately prevail. After all, objectively, sanctions are not beneficial to either Russia or the European Union," Lavrov said in an interview with the Spanish El Pais newspaper.
"There are various figures on the losses of the EU states from the sanctions. According to some estimates, it is a sum far exceeding 100 billion euros. It is important that this understanding finally comes to the European politicians," Lavrov said.
The business community of the bloc is far closer to an objective assessment of the situation, the foreign minister underlined. "The August report of the German Eastern Business Association is indicative in this regard as it calls for a review of the EU strategy towards our country, for start of the development of full-scale economic cooperation," Lavrov added.
The West’s desire to remain a global leader in international affairs has led to a standoff with Russia, Sergey Lavrov has suggested.
"The main reason is a desire of some Western countries to maintain at all costs their leading positions on the global arena, to continue imposing their will and values and to manipulate the international community to resolve issues in their own narrow interests," he told El Pais, a Spanish newspaper.
Lavrov added that Russia’s independent foreign policy is perceived as a threat to US and, in general, Western world dominance, as evidenced by unilateral economic sanctions, military build-up on Russian borders, unprecedented information campaigns and other attempts to deter Russia.
"The United States is currently at a very important internal development stage and this impairs normal interaction… I hope that at some point the US political elites will work everything out and that their rows will eventually stop poisoning the Russia-US relations," Lavrov said.
The minister added that Moscow had repeatedly called on Washington to address the existing problems in their bilateral relationship but the United States refused citing the general unfavorable climate. Moreover, the decision by the US Republican government to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia aimed to strengthen the party’s competitive position ahead for this Tuesday’s voting, Russian Foreign Minister suggested.
"Our joint work is severely hindered by internal political disputes in the US. Unfortunately, even bilateral disarmament pacts needed to maintain global stability are not immune. It is symptomatic that the Republican administration declared its intent to quit the INF ahead of the November 6 Congressional midterms, apparently hoping, among other things, to boost GOP candidates ahead of the vote," he said in an interview with El Pais.