OREANDA-NEWS. The new High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said there was no reason to lift sanctions against Russia.

He stated this in an interview published on December 1 by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “The sanctions against Russia are valid, there were good reasons for this. There is no reason to lift them without receiving anything from Moscow in response,” Borrell said. He emphasized also that sanctions in themselves are not the issue of a politics, and stated that he intends to seek a balance of interests in relations with Russia.

Relations between Moscow and the Western countries worsened after the coup in Ukraine and the reunification of the Crimea with Russia in 2014. The EU and the USA imposed sanctions against Moscow, accusing it of the current situation in Ukraine. The restrictions affected individuals and legal entities, and even entire sectors of the Russian economy.

In response to this, at the beginning of August 2014, Russia introduced a food embargo, according to which it was forbidden to import certain types of agricultural products, raw materials and food products into the country. In subsequent years, the sanctions list has been repeatedly expanded. As a result, a number of meat products, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, and salt from countries that imposed sanctions against Moscow were banned from importing into Russian territory.

On June 4, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law on counter sanctions. The document provides for the possibility of introducing a ban or restriction on the import and export of products or raw materials to companies that are under the direct or indirect jurisdiction of hostile countries.