10:08 GMT01 June 2020
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    The West will have to scrap its sanctions against Moscow because life itself will make it do it, Russia's top diplomat said on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York on Friday.

    "I can't say I've heard statements that the West will stop playing its sanctions games and will stop ignoring the interests of our mutual cooperation, no, I wouldn't say that," Sergei Lavrov said.

    "I think they will realize it, we have never asked [our] Western partners to lift the sanctions," he said adding that life itself would make the West abandon the lose-lose situation.

    The great potential for further developing the Russian-US relations is not being used because of the Russophobic hysteria in the United States, Russian Foreign Minister added.

    "The great potential in our relations is not being used and is even reducing over the Russophobic hysteria," the minister said.

    Lavrov said that the United States had failed to present any evidence proving the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

    "[The Russian-US relations] are impacted by the campaign around the legitimacy of [US] President [Donald] Trump’s victory [in presidential election] and around the allegations that Russia ensured his victory by the meddling in the US internal affairs, in the election campaign. However, no fact has been presented," Lavrov said, adding that there was also no presented evidence of the alleged Russian meddling in the elections in France and Germany.

    The minister also does not believe US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s words that the evidence could not be presented as the documents on the issue were classified.

    "When I asked Rex Tillerson how his words, that the Russian interference in US election is well documented, can be proved, he said that he could not show me anything because that was classified information. You know, I cannot believe in that," Lavrov added.

    Following the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, the European Union along with the United States imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and Russian defense, energy and banking sectors in late July 2014. Moscow responded by introducing a year-long food embargo on several imports from the countries that have targeted Russia with the restrictions, extending the current embargo several times.

    Despite Russian officials stressing that Moscow is not a party to the Ukrainian internal conflict between Kiev and the Donbass republics, which don't recognize Ukraine's leadership after a coup following the Maidan protests, the EU said that sanctions on Russia would be lifted only if the Minsk agreements are implemented.

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    sanctions, Sergei Lavrov, Russia
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