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Russia and Europe both have endured losses as a result of the sanctions standoff, but the losses that Europe has encountered are far more serious in some respects, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted.
"The fact is our partners also lose approximately the same. Europe has lost roughly the same, according to their estimates. Actually, they’ve been losing even more sensitive things," he told TASS in an interview for the special project "20 Questions with Vladimir Putin".
As an example, he pointed to job cuts in European countries, brought on by dwindling trade with Russia. "Right now, we have the lowest unemployment in history. Here, we lost nothing," he said, noting that the sanctions were having adverse effects on both sides.
"It is bad because it is distorting the entire global and European economic space. Competition should be natural without any external restrictions," he stressed.
In 2014, the European Union slapped sanctions on Russia over the events in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Since then, these sanctions have been repeatedly prolonged. Talks on the cancellation of visas and a new basic agreement on cooperation were put on hold, some Russian officials were prohibited from visiting EU countries and their assets were frozen. In addition, trading, financial and military restrictions were introduced.
Sectoral sanctions are in effect against a number of Russian financial, oil producing and defense organizations. Several Russian banks face restrictions on access to European loans. In the meantime, branches of Russia’s public banks registered on EU soil are exempt from sectoral sanctions.
The weapons embargo prohibits the export of dual technologies, primarily, electronics, to Russia. The sale of new technologies and high-tech equipment for the oil sector is prohibited. This measure applies to equipment and technologies for off-shore oil exploration and production, shale oil production and Arctic drilling. The EU imposed a ban on the import of goods from Crimea and Sevastopol, and transport and visa restrictions on their residents within the framework of the so-called Crimea Annexation Non-Recognition Act.
Episode 14 of this video interview is available at - https://putin.tass.ru/en.