PARIS, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – Western economic sanctions are taking their toll on Russia and the European Union and will be canceled once the Ukrainian crisis is settled, French President Francois Hollande said Thursday at a press conference.
"The sanctions will be lifted if a real, permanent ceasefire is in place, and if the crisis is settled peacefully. These sanctions come at a price for both Russia and Europe. Such policy takes many resources from the economic growth standpoint," Hollande said.
Russian relations with the West have deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine. The European Union and the United States have been imposing sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the crisis, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.
The latest round of sanctions against Russia was introduced on September 12, targeting the country's largest banks, oil and defense companies, as well as certain individuals. The companies were denied access to the European capital markets, while a number of individuals are subject to entry bans and asset freezes.
Russia retaliated with a one-year food ban that targets a range of foodstuffs from the countries that implemented sanctions against Russia, with Australia, Poland and Latvia having already voiced concerns about potential losses.
Moscow has also prepared, but not yet implemented, a new package of response measures, which may affect machine-building, the petrochemical and automotive sectors, as well as impose restrictions on imports of used cars and textiles. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that Moscow may introduce these measures only to protect Russia's interests.