June 22, 2015
Translated from Russian by Tom Winter
It was no surprise to Sergei Ivanov, head of the Russian presidential administration, that the sanctions against Russia were extended just today – the Day of Memory and Grief.
“Does that surprise you? Me? Far from it,” he told Tass. He also considered that it was no coincidence that they froze Russian assets in Europe on the opening day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “Do you believe in coincidence? As for me, I don’t,” said Ivanov.
The European Union today formally extended the economic sanctions against Russia until January 31, 2016. The Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States approved the related amendments.
Russia will respond to the EU’s decision with reciprocity, said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president. “We have repeatedly said our principle in the matter of sanctions is reciprocity,” – he stressed. “Russia was not the initiator, but in this case, since the sanctions regime is extended, we will act on the basis of reciprocity.”
Peskov would not answer whether the EU decision to extend the sanctions on the anniversary of the German attack on the Soviet Union was coincidental. He suggested this question should be addressed to the European Union.
For more on the date, see the initial announcement of the Nazi invasion in a video here.
For further about the freeze of assets, click here.
As for the reciprocity, the head of the government staff, Sergei Prikhodko, has already been assigned to come up with corresponding counter-sanctions.