Vinenna, June 6: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Western sanctions against Russia are “harmful for everyone” and it is in everyone’s interests to lift them. Speaking in Austria, he said Russia had restored stable growth, despite the EU and US sanctions first imposed in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea, BBC reported on Tuesday. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said his country wanted to act as a bridge between Moscow and the West. But he said he would not break ranks within the EU on the sanctions issue.
A number of European liberals have expressed concern over close links between the pro-Putin United Russia party with far-right parties in the EU. The two populist parties now ruling Italy favour closer ties with Moscow and are both Eurosceptic. Italy’s new government has openly called for a review of EU sanctions, starting with those that “threaten civil society in Russia”. Referring to the Western sanctions, he said: “These actions are harmful for everyone, both for those who initiate them and for those against whom they are directed.(IANS)