Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said he hopes that the sanctions regime between Russia and the European Union will become a thing of the past.
“I hope that the sanctions regime will become a thing of the past,” Dvorkovich said.
“Europe is probably not in such a brilliant economic position to afford to lose a partner. We need each other … We are interdependent, very closely intertwined. It is a huge mistake to build artificial barriers between our countries, regions,” Dvorkovich said.
The trade turnover between Russia and the EU has decreased two-fold over the past 4 years, mainly due to the commodity prices downturn, while the impact of anti-Russia sanctions has only accounted for 10%, Dvorkovich said.
“There has been a two-fold decrease in (Russia’s) trade volumes with the European Union over the past four years. Why? For 90% due to the fall of commodity prices and the following devaluation of the national currency. As a consequence, the volumes of both exports and imports have decreased. Sanctions have definitely influenced, played their role (both western sanctions and Russia’s food embargo – TASS), but I’m giving not more than 10% to this factor,” he said.
At the same time, he noted that Russia has already began rebuilding relations with the European Union. Out of 28 countries of the union, cooperation with 19 countries was restored through intergovernmental commission.
According to Dvorkovich, the restrictive measures against Russia have turned out to be ineffective, but caused problems between the sides. As a result, the structure of Russia’s trade turnover has changed as the share of the European Union has dropped from 50% to 40% in the total volume of Russia’s international trade, while “the share of the Asian-Pacific states has increased from 20% to 30%,” he said.
Europe can rely on Russia as a responsible energy supplier, despite the existing controversy, Deputy PM said, adding that Moscow “assumes that the Third energy package contradicts the WTO norms.”
Dvorkovich also said, that Russia is groundlessly pegged down on the European gas market, particularly regarding big projects such as the Nord Stream. “Germany is obviously interested in those projects, and we’re in a good dialogue with our German partners, but cannot resolve many issues with Brussels and the European Commission,” he added.