EU VS RUSSIA: SANCTIONS
European Union Foreign Ministers agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia on Monday over its "destabilising role in Eastern Ukraine," triggering a strong reaction of Moscow.
"It looks especially cynical that the decision ... was taken on June 22, the day when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union (in World War Two)," the Russian Foreign Ministry wrote.
The sanctions, agreed at a meeting in Luxembourg without debate, are extended to January 31. They mainly comprise restrictions in the financial, energy and defence sectors.
Apart from political posturing, a decision from European leaders is likely to come with an extension of Russian ban on European agricultural productions. Moscow is more and more advocating the principle of reciprocity in foreign affairs.
"The response will be reciprocal. This is inevitable. It is the only way of acting in the international arena. Reciprocity may be positive or negative, as in this case. Now we are working to reverse the seizure of the accounts of our diplomatic agencies in the first place" Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week, commenting on some European countries' decision to seize Russian assets in connection with the Yukos case.
Last week, during the St. Petersburg International Forum, Russian companies signed a flurry of deals with European companies.
'Rosneft and BP signed final binding agreements for Rosneft's sale to BP of a 20 per cent share of Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha (Taas), creating a new joint venture in East Siberia. The document was signed by Rosneft Management Board Chairman Igor Sechin and President of BP Russia David Campbell' BP said, reporting one of the most relevant deals.
During the first day of the international conference, Gazprom agreed to build a new pipeline to Germany under the Baltic Sea with Germany's E.ON, Anglo-Dutch Shell, and Austria's OMV.
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