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Grigory Rapota: Moscow Will Lift Trade Restrictions if West Removes Sanctions

State Secretary of the Union State of Russia and Belarus Grigory Rapota believes that if the West removes sanctions against Russia, Russia will immediately lift its trade restrictions. Relations between Russia and the West soured due to the situation in Ukraine.

At the end of July 2014, the EU and the US replaced selective sanctions against individuals and companies with measures against entire economic sectors. In turn, Russia restricted imports of food products from the countries that had imposed sanctions against it. In June 2015, in response to the renewal of sanctions, Russia extended the food ban for a year, until August 5, 2016.

“If the West removes sanctions [against Russia], Russia will immediately lift its trade restrictions, this is not even discussed. This will create even more opportunities for cooperation,” Mr Rapota said at a conference, From Lisbon to Vladivostok – the Problems of Integration in Greater Europe, held in Madrid.

He referred to the sanctions as an “archaism.” “Regardless of sanctions, Iran showed growth that one can envy,” Grigory Rapota added.

He also said that “the sanctions have certainly narrowed down the space for cooperation between Russia and the West, but certain cooperation is underway… we cannot say that it absolutely stopped.”

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Spain Yury Korchagin along with representatives of state, business and expert communities from Spain, Portugal, France, Hungary, Serbia, Estonia and Uzbekistan also attended the conference, From Lisbon to Vladivostok – the Problems of Integration in Greater Europe, which took place in the format of a working breakfast.

Source: Sputnik