Leftists ask Putin to aid Greece by lifting embargo on food imports

Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis

Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis

A Fair Russia party lawmaker has asked President Vladimir Putin to consider lifting the reciprocal Russian sanctions aimed at the West, selectively for Greece, claiming that this country has been always closer to Russia than Europe.

Greece is a reliable partner of the Russian Federation, the
trade turnover between our countries rose two-fold between 2010
and 2013. Greece is close to Russia not only in terms of the
economy but also in a spiritual sphere – it is one of the few
Orthodox Christian countries in Europe
,” MP Andrei Krutov
wrote in his letter, as cited by the Izvestia daily.

The agricultural products from Greece have practically no
equivalents among produce that can be grown inside Russia and
failure to access the Russian markets can cause grave
consequences to the Greek agricultural sector. This could lead to
further crisis in the economy, as well as social and political
spheres of this country
,” the lawmaker added.

Krutov claims that the lifting of the counter-sanctions in
regards to Greece could be held as a goodwill gesture, which
would be perceived positively by both people from Greece and
Russia. If these steps prove to be successful, the cooperation
could be expanded, including on the level of political and
economic blocs such as the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization and the BRICS group.

The then-Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolay Fyodorov said in
April that the government was ready to discuss the issue of
lifting the embargo on food imports from certain countries.

In June, Russian deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told
reporters that Moscow might lift the embargo on foodstuffs from
certain foreign countries, if the West lifts its anti-Russia
sanctions. He noted that there might be selective adjustments,
but no radical decisions were planned.

READ MORE: Medvedev promises symmetrical response
if new anti-Russian sanctions are introduced

Russia banned the imports of meat, poultry, fish, cheese, milk,
fruit and vegetables from the United States, members of the EU,
Australia, Canada and Norway, in August 2014. The embargo was
introduced for a one-year term, with the possibility to be
prolonged if the situation did not improve.

Last month, the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned EU
officials that if they decided to tighten sanctions against
Russia, an appropriate reply would inevitably follow.

The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov called the sanctions “a
double-edged sword” that equally hurts the Russian economy and
businesses in the countries that had introduced them, as well as
the world economy as a whole. At the same time he emphasized that
the continued pressure would not affect Moscow’s foreign policy.

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