Spain is suffering “great economic strife” due to EU sanctions against Russia, which the West accuses of giving military aid to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, claims Spain’s foreign secretary José Manuel Garcia-Margallo. “No-one is benefiting from these sanctions which are greatly damaging to the Spanish economy,” claimed Mr. Garcia-Margallo during a press conference in Moscow after he had met with his Russian counterpart, Sergueï Lavrov. “We are greatly impaired,” he insisted.
Spain, a favourite destination for Russians before the rouble collapsed to a little over half its value last year “suffered a major blow when Russian tourism took a downturn”, added the minister.
He also explained he was not expecting a “further widening of sanctions against Moscow in the future”, given the “good news” coming from the Ukraine where a relative lull in the fighting was observed over the past few days after a cease-fire was declared on February 15th and Kiev and pro-Russian troops started to move heavy artillery out of the area.
Mr. Lavrov praised the “balanced attitude” of Spain “at a difficult time for Russia and the EU” when the Ukrainian crisis has resulted in relations, being at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
He highlighted the “hope” Madrid had of “managing to stop the constantly lethargic application of sanctions.”
Sergueï Lavrov also claimed he was convinced that “common sense will prevail” within the EU, adding that “The normalisation of our cooperation would benefit Russia.”
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)