Pushkov: sanctions against Russia should get rid of “Minsk”

VIENNA, 24 February. /Corr. Mikhail Shcherbakov/.The head of Committee of the State Duma on international Affairs Alexei Pushkov believes it is right to dissociate European sanctions against Russia from the Minsk agreements, the implementation of which is blocked by Kiev. This opinion was expressed by TASS on the eve of the winter session of the OSCE parliamentary Assembly opened in Vienna on Thursday.

According to him, currently the European Union is a hostage of the Ukrainian authorities. “Of course, it would be right to untie sanctions from “Minsk”, but there are countries that do not want, – he said. And even if Kiev will block the situation for a very long time, they will insist that the Minsk fails, and sanctions must be preserved”.

“However, I assume that there may be changes in the position of key EU States – France, Italy and ultimately, Germany” – predicts the MP. He is convinced that “Kiev can’t indefinitely block arrangement in such a way that if it was not realized in key European capitals”. “But for how long Europe will suffer from economic sanctions because of the position of Kiev, this is a question that you need to pay European diplomats”, – said Pushkov, noting that “this is not a very promising position to depend on Kiev.”

The head of the Duma Committee also reported that it brought to the Austrian colleagues of the Russian assessment that “the Minsk agreements now are in place primarily due to the fact that Kiev is not ready to go on the way they perform and because of the government crisis, and due to the fact that the majority in Parliament opposes”.

However, he believes that the support of Kiev from countries of the European Union “will continue, but to Istachatta”. “There is no common processcore front, Austria is clearly not belong to it, as well as Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia, Hungary,” added Pushkov.

“The question arises, how long the relationship between Russia and the EU will be held hostage to the unwillingness of Kiev to perform Minsk agreement”, – he said.

Some EU countries against the extension of sanctions

Several European countries oppose automatic renewal of sanctions against Russia and is ready to go to their gradual weakening, Pushkov said.

According to him, the process of mutual renunciation of sanctions could begin with the lifting of restrictive measures with parliamentarians. “I understand that some European countries oppose automatic renewal of sanctions, that is, at least, should be the discussion. And several countries in favour of commencing their removal,” he said. “We cannot speak about the complete abolition of sanctions at a time but can go on step by step abolished,” he said after the meeting with the Vice-President of the National Assembly of Austria Karlheinz Kopf the.

“We believe that it would be useful to start with the steps that are symbolic and political in nature, but which would show the direction of movement toward normalization of relations,” he said. In particular, says Pushkov, the Russian side “offers to consider suspending sanctions on parliamentarians on both sides”. In his view, “such a move could start the process of gradual withdrawal of mutual sanctions, which affected both Russia and Europe”.

However, he predicts that the EU is unlikely to immediately go on the lifting of economic sanctions and considers it “unrealistic”. “According to our contacts, in June the EU will discuss economic sanctions, automatic renewal, most likely will not, but will ripen if the EU is to start the waiver of sanctions with respect to the administration (of President Barack approx.) Obama, I have big doubts”, – said the head of the Duma Committee. Thus, according to him, in December, “European States can afford a little more freedom of hand”.

“We understand that this is a process that all States depend on the European common position. But this is the position that can be discussed and possibly revised,” concluded Pushkov.

There is no item for contacts with Ukraine

The Russian delegation at the session of the OSCE parliamentary Assembly in Vienna does not see “to contact” with Ukrainian parliamentarians because of their nedogovorosposobnostyu, said Pushkov.

According to him, “the Ukrainian delegation is blocking any contact, aimed at the creation of special structures”. “I am convinced that their position had not changed,” he said, Recalling that Kiev had blocked the creation of a parliamentary contact group on the site of the OSCE PA. “Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva was in Kiev and tried to influence Groisman (speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine – ed.), the position has changed, because the majority of States favoured the establishment of such a group,” – said Pushkov.

“The Ukrainian side at the parliamentary level deep nedogovorosposobnostyu and because of this, I do not see the matter to of contacts”, – concluded the head of the Duma Committee.