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Iran Press TV

Russia slams West's 'maniacal persistency' with sanctions

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 5:10 PM

The Kremlin has censured the West's "maniacal persistency" in pursuing sanctions against Russia and its reluctance to resolve contentious issues through dialog.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday that Russia had been attempting to establish dialog with the West but endless discussions about economic restrictions were a hindrance.

"Regrettably, Brussels keeps talking about sanctions, so does the United States with maniacal persistency. This is something we will never welcome. It is something that we do not like at all," Peskov said.

The spokesman stressed that Russia hoped that the "political will to continue the dialog will gain the upper hand and the most complex issues in relations with the West will be resolved exclusively within the framework of a dialog."

Peskov also said the threat of coercive measures by the EU and the US would force Moscow to remain constantly mobilized.

"The potential threat of such unfriendly manifestations obliges us to stay mobilized and on guard," Peskov said. "The response is always well-considered and agreed with our own interests."

Lavrov blames EU for deterioration of Russia ties

Moreover, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the EU for the bloc's deteriorating relations with Russia and accused the union of systematically destroying mechanisms for bilateral cooperation.

"Relations have been consistently torn apart by the European Union," Lavrov was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency on Monday. "The carcass of these relations was consciously destroyed at the initiative of Brussels."

Lavrov said, however, that Russia would not pull back from its relations with individual member states.

"Don't confuse Europe with the European Union. When it comes to Europe, we are not going anywhere," the top Russian diplomat said. "We have many friends in Europe."

Lavrov threatened on Friday that Moscow would be ready to sever ties with the EU if the bloc imposed more sanctions on Russia.

Relations between Russia and the West have been strained recently over the detention of opposition figure Alexei Navalny and an alleged crackdown on protests for his release in the past couple of months.

Earlier in the month, a court in Moscow sentenced Navalny to three and a half years in prison for breaking the terms of a suspended sentence he had received seven years ago for an embezzlement case.

Russian police detained him on arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport from Germany in mid-January, five months after he was transferred to a hospital in Berlin to be treated for what the West alleged had been a nerve agent attack by Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly rejected the allegations, saying the West is exploiting the case for political reasons and using it as a pretext to impose more sanctions against Russia.

His arrest prompted several rallies across the country, which Moscow had not unauthorized.

The arrest has sparked talk of new EU sanctions, especially after Moscow expelled German, Polish, and Swedish diplomats for taking part in pro-Navalny protests last week.

France and Germany have demanded a response by the EU and signaled willingness to press on with plans to levy sanctions on Moscow. Reuters, citing three European diplomats, said the bloc is likely to impose travel bans and asset freezes on allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin as soon as this month.

EU foreign ministers are set to discuss the issue at their next meeting on February 22.

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