Russia’s foreign ministry on Monday expressed disappointment at the extension by the European Union of biting sanctions, blaming the move on an anti-Russian “lobby”. “We are deeply disappointed that the opinion of the Russophobic lobby, which pushed through the decision to prolong illegal restrictions, once again dominated in the EU,” it said in a statement. EU foreign ministers formally agreed Monday to prolong damaging economic sanctions against Russia until January 2016, to ensure it fully implements Ukraine peace accords.
Brussels hit Russia’s banking, oil and defence sectors hard and, along with the United States, has warned more sanctions could follow unless Moscow lives up to its Minsk commitments in February to withdraw support for the rebels and use its influence with them to implement the accord. The conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Kiev has killed over 6,500 people over the past 15 months.
Moscow denies sending troops to Ukraine and says any Russians fighting there are volunteers. Moscow claimed the decision will be “guaranteed to cause hundreds of thousands of Europeans to lose their jobs.” The ministry said it was “absurd” for the EU to “place all responsibility” for implementation of the peace agreements on Moscow. It also described as “cynical” the fact that the decision was taken on June 22, which happens to be the day that Nazi Germany attacked Soviet forces in 1941.
Source: the Guardian