RIGA - It is important for the European Union to continue with the sanctions against Russia for as long as necessary, and not to start lifting the sanctions prematurely in any way, the European Commission's Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis emphasizes in an interview with LETA.
When asked whether the sanctions have so far had the expected effect, Dombrovskis points out that, for example, the International Monetary Fund predicts a recession for Russia both this and next year, and it is also evident that Russia's industrial production output has decreased significantly.
"One thing to keep in mind is that Russia is a large country, and the effect of the sanctions is not immediately felt everywhere," says Dombrovskis, adding that over time the effect of the sanctions is becoming more obvious and the Russian economy will experience a recession in both 2022 and 2023, which is largely due to the sanctions.
"There are quite serious problems in multiple Russian manufacturing sectors, the budget surplus has been wiped out. Therefore it is important to continue with this pressure, and the impact of the sanctions will then gradually become more and more apparent. At the same time, of course, it is necessary to work on attempts to circumvent the sanctions," emphasizes Dombrovskis.
"It is clear that Russia and Belarus, which are subject to sanctions - both at the level of individuals, companies and the state - are looking for ways to circumvent these actions, both within the EU and with the help of third countries. Many countries have not joined the sanctions introduced by the EU, the United States, Great Britain and other countries," says Dombrovskis.
Iran is currently the most striking example of the countries ignoring the sanctions against Russia. China also takes an ambiguous position on the sanctions.
"We have to work with these third countries. For example, we have had talks with representatives of Kazakhstan on these issues, and they have confirmed their desire to cooperate with the EU and not violate the sanctions, but of course this requires constant monitoring and cooperation with these countries," said Dombrovskis.
Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries have very close ties with China and Russia, and they are looking for alternatives to diversify their economies.
"Therefore there is interest from Central Asia, and the EU is also interested in strengthening cooperation. For example, in terms of commodities, we must look for alternatives to Russia, and also make sure that we do not become dependent on supplies from China, supplies must be diversified as much as possible," says Dombrovskis.