Russia on Saturday said the EU’s latest sanctions package against Moscow will only aggravate the bloc’s own problems.
EU leaders have failed to realize the “futility of all anti-Russian sanctions and the policy of pressure on Russia,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.
The latest sanctions package “will have the same effect as all the previous ones – aggravation of socioeconomic problems in the EU itself,” she stressed.
The EU unveiled its ninth sanctions package against Russia on Friday, targeting its economy and figures who have played central roles in the Ukraine.
The new measures blacklist almost 200 individuals and entities, impose restrictions on three Russian banks, a number of export curbs, and include bans on four Russian media outlets.
Zakharova said previous sanctions led to an energy crisis and high inflation in Europe, pushing many European companies to plan for relocating their production facilities, placing the continent at risk of deindustrialization.
“The painful consequences of the EU’s anti-Russia policy will increase, and the US will ‘assist’ in that, acting as the main beneficiary of the security crisis on the European continent and of the rupture of trade and economic ties between the EU and Russia,” she said.
She emphasized that the EU’s sanctions on Russia affect developing nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, who are already unable to compete with the West in the fight for resources.
She said the ban on four more Russian media outlets was “evidence of the EU’s stance on censorship.”
This approach contradicts the bloc’s claims of being a protector of freedom of speech and media freedoms, and infringes on EU residents’ right to information, she added.
Exemptions for Russian exporters of agricultural products show that even the EU recognizes the destructive impact of its actions on global food security, said Zakharova.
“If Brussels is serious about food security issues, such steps should not be cosmetic, but comprehensive, and provide for the legal withdrawal … of all restrictive measures that directly or indirectly affect the supply of grain, fertilizers, and raw materials,” she added.