The EU policy of anti-Russia sanctions is inefficient and Brussels should exert efforts aimed at keeping Moscow as the bloc’s strategic partner, the permanent secretary of the Cyprian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik.

“We have never considered that sanctions are an end in itself and, on the other hand, they have proved to be inefficient. Russia should be a strategic partner of the European Union on a number of international issues. These are important relationships. We have to think about it,” Alexandros Zenon said.

The Cypriot official added that given the poor effect of the sanctions, the EU member states should seek contact with Russia and work out a political solution to the ongoing crisis in relations.

“Certainly, for many years now the sanctions do not seem to have worked. They are detrimental for the economies of many EU member states. And we have to find ways how to keep channel of communication with the Russian authorities open and eventually come to a political solution, which will allow us to maintain these relationships with Russia because Russia is important on a number of international issues,” the diplomat added.

The EU has extended sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian individuals and legal entities by another six months on September 14.

Despite the fact that several EU members have repeatedly voiced disapproval of anti-Russian sanctions policy and called for lifting them, which harm their states’ trade with Russia, Brussels continues to prolong the restrictions on Moscow.

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