Grushko: EU Sanctions Against Russia Contradict the Interests of European Union Itself

The EU sanctions against Russia are illegitimate and run counter to the interests of the European Union itself, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Russian reporters in Athens late on Friday, TASS informed.

“Our attitude towards sanctions is well known,” he said. “To begin with, it is an illegal tool. Secondly, it is a tool that runs counter to the very interests of the European Union. I believe that many European countries are beginning to realize that. Greece is probably among those [countries] that have shown sufficient skepticism as far as the effectiveness of these sanctions is concerned. Nevertheless, we must proceed from the fact that it is both a member of the [NATO] alliance and a member of the European Union, and in this sense it implements the decisions made in Brussels. This is a reality, but we should not view this reality as an obstacle to developing relations with Greece in those areas where we understand that these relations are in the interests of our countries and our peoples.”

According to Grushko, the European Union must decide how to deal with the sanctions.

“What worries us is that the European Union recently started to make persistent efforts to create the so-called horizontal sanctions mechanisms – chemical, on human rights, on hybrid [threats], on cybersecurity. That means that EU legislation will provide for the possibility of making prompt decisions regarding specific individuals affected by these sanctions. These can be individuals, institutions, companies and businesspeople. This is a very slippery slope that leads nowhere. However, it creates colossal uncertainty in relations between us and Europeans,” the diplomat said.