Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo by AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced as “short-sighted ” the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) and the United States on his country over the Ukraine crisis.
Putin made the remarks in an editorial published in German business daily Handelsblatt on Thursday prior to the G20 summit, saying that sanctions against Russia “are not just short-sighted but go against the principles of the G20 for cooperation in the interests of all countries.”
The Russian leader also called for an end to protectionism, saying only “open trade relations” could stimulate world economy.
“I am convinced that only open trade relations, based on uniform norms and standards, can stimulate the growth of the world economy and promote an improvement in relations between states,” he noted.
The two-day summit is scheduled to start in the northern Germany city of Hamburg on Friday with the aim of bringing together the leaders of the world’s biggest developed and emerging economies.
Washington and Brussels have slapped a series of sanctions against Moscow since 2014 after the Crimea region voted in a referendum to separate from Ukraine and rejoin Russia.
The West brands the development as Moscow’s annexation of the territory.
 The US and its allies in Europe also accuse Russia of having a major hand in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, an allegation denied by Moscow.
The crisis has left over 10,000 people dead, according to the United Nations.
In a tit-for-tat move on August 2014, Moscow banned most food imports from the EU, the US and other countries that had imposed sanctions over the reunification of Crimea and support for east Ukraine’s pro-Moscow fighters.
In a latest decree signed by Putin, Russia extended the embargo on produce, dairy, meat and most other foods to December 31, 2018.

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