Europe is paying the price for economic sanctions imposed at the behest of the US, told political scientist Nikolay Dimlovich.
In October, the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Belgian parliament’s lower chamber is to debate a resolution calling for the government to put pressure on the EU to lift economic sanctions against Russia.
On Tuesday, Belgian MP Aldo Carcaci, who drafted the resolution, told Sputnik France that anti-Russian sanctions harm Europe more than Russia.
“Our exporters of fruit and vegetables and hunting weapons are being punished because they are losing out on profit. These sanctions are useless and counterproductive, because they harm Belgian suppliers more than they do Russia,”Carcasi said.
Dimlovich, who is adviser to Russia’s Foundation for Technological Development, told RIA Novosti that the unsuccessful sanctions are a weapon in an “economic war” started by the US, and expressed some sympathy for European economies.
“This is not sanctions, this is economic war which has been declared on Russia by the USA, and which the EU is a victim of.”
“In financial terms, the West has lost more than $60 billion, and the EU has borne around 77 percent of that sum,” Dimlovich said.
The EU Council first decided to impose anti-Russian sanctions in March 2014, after Crimea decided to join the Russian Federation following a referendum. Since then the EU has prolonged the sanctions against Russian individuals and entities, most recently deciding last month to prolong them until June 2017.
MP’s in many EU countries, such as Belgium, France and Italy, have expressed discontent that national parliaments have not had a chance to debate the issue, and parliaments in Cyprus, Paris and four Italian regions have passed resolutions calling on national governments to pressure the EU to lift the sanctions.
Dimlovich said that the worst is yet to come for EU exporters, who have complained about losing access to the Russian market as a result of Russian counter-sanctions, first imposed in August 2014 and prolonged in step with the EU and US measures.
“In autumn when production in the EU exceeds demand, ‘rivers of milk’ will be flowing again in Brussels, Paris, Berlin and other European capitals, and the people will probably again tell the political leaders of those countries they need to take measures to stop this absolutely senseless economic war against Russia.”
“I think EU countries can expect a very stormy autumn,” said Dimlovich, who expects EU politicians to eventually pay the price for ignoring the interests of the electorate.
“Europe’s current political elites are so disconnected from the national interest of their countries, that they will be gradually replaced by more nationally-oriented elites. But that won’t happen until after the US elections,” Dimlovich said.
Last autumn Finland’s Central Union of Agricultural Producers (MTK) stated that Finnish farmers had suffered losses of around 400 million euros ($440 million) as a result of Russian counter-sanctions, half of which was borne by daily producers, Regnum reported.
In 2015 Finnish exports to Russia fell by 32 percent, to 3.6 billion euros ($4 billion), and according to figures for April from Finland’s Customs Service, exports decreased by 11 percent in comparison with April 2015.
On Tuesday German Federal Agricultural Minister Christian Schmidt arrived in Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart, Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov, and Minister for Trade and Industry Denis Manturov.
Schmidt said that one of his aims is the gradual lifting of Russian counter-sanctions, which were among the causes of an average 35 percent slump in profits for German farmers from June 2014 – June 2015, Der Spiegel reported.
“Russia is an important partner, also because as the world’s largest country it can play an important role in securing the world’s future food supply. Europe and Germany are Russia’s natural trading partners,” Schmidt said.