"Our sanctions against Russia pointless"
Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini called the EU sanctions against Russia pointless. "Slovakia has long stressed that the sanctions has no positive effect," he recalled, speaking at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The political and economic relations between Moscow and Brussels only deteriorated, Pellegrini pointed out. "Some companies have lost their markets because they were not able to trade with Russia," he said.
Sanctions only do harm, the Slovak Prime Minister said. He considers it "expedient to reconsider this issue". "Can we restore a constructive dialogue instead of extending meaningless sanctions that harm both the economy of our countries and the Russian economy," RIA Novosti cited Pellegrini as saying.
Earlier, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte criticized the anti-Russian sanctions. He stressed that the renewal of economic sanctions against Russia should not be automatic. He also noted that sanctions should be a means and not constitute an end.
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, a representative of the legislative body of the Jewish Autonomous Region, Vladimir Dzhabarov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that despite the growing number of statements by European politicians about the senselessness of anti-Russian sanctions, it is too early to wait for their cancellation.
" It's unlikely that the lifting of sanctions will be so simple, because the US pressure on Europe is still too strong, Germany is trying to keep the situation under control. We should not wait for changes until Europeans reach the general decision, until the whole of Europe or, at least, the majority of countries opposes it. But the fact that the process of doubt and discontent has begun is good, everyone understands that sanctions are absolutely useless and give nothing except worsening the climate in relations between countries," he stressed.
"Separately, Italy or Slovakia can not afford to oppose sanctions against the will of Germany and France. They need more powerful support from several leading countries. Imagine what will happen to Italy if it does not support sanctions - allies in the European Union and NATO will immediately attack it. Therefore, for now it will be at the level of appeals and statements, waiting for the reaction of Americans and Germans to such statements. When there will be the necessary number of opponents of anti-Russian sanctions, then one should expect a breakthrough in the European policy towards Russia," Vladimir Jabbarov said.
The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, stressed that the statements of Italy and Slovakia will have some effect only if the automatic extension of sanctions is canceled. "When the sanctions were extended for the first time, this was done during the summit at the level of the leaders of the EU member states, and then they introduced a simplified procedure when sanctions can be extended at the level of permanent representatives of the EU countries (at the level of the deputy foreign ministers). Italy and Slovakia want the extension of sanctions be discussed at the highest level. It does not mean that they will definitely vote against the extension, but at least they want to discuss the issue of sanctions against Russia," he said.
"If the heads of state really start discussing the sanctions issue, the fate of sanctions will depend on the discussion itself. It is important that in an automatic regime countries simply do not know any arguments - but having a dialogue they will be able to explain to each other why they want or do not want to extend the sanctions. Then it opens the possibility for at least one country to vote against the sanctions. And then they will be lifted, because a consensus is required in the EU in making such decisions," Vladimir Olenchenko drew attention.