“It was Russia that decided to put an embargo on imports of food products from the West and harm its people. This led to a price hike, decrease in the amount and selection of products. Consequently, even the action when Russia takes sanctions against itself, which definitely was not the proposal from the West, shows that the Russian response is inadequate and a result of its aggressive policies,” Grybauskaitė said in an interview to the national radio LRT on Friday morning.
In her words, the Russian decision is described as a propaganda instrument and a retaliatory sanction for countries of the European Union (EU).
“As a matter of fact, the sanctions harmed and continue harming Russia and its people, not the Western countries,” said the Lithuanian president.
The Russian embargo had a major effect upon Lithuania, even for its logistics sector, she added.
Last August, Russia imposed an embargo upon imports of food products and agricultural produce from the European Union, the US and other Western states in response to the Western world’s sanctions against it.
The Lithuanian president said the Western sanctions against Russia proved correct.
“Russia was expelled from the G8 summits, and the closest operators of the Kremlin policies – Russian officials, officers and separatists in Eastern Ukraine – cannot enter the European Union, their bank accounts have been frozen, etc.,” said Grybauskaitė.
In her words, Russia continues “acting as an aggressor, which does not care about lives or fates of people.”
The European Union took sanctions against Moscow after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in March of 2014, significantly stepping them up after a Malaysia Airlines MH17 airliner was gunned down in Eastern Ukraine last July.