Slovakia grumbles as EU begins crisis Russia food ban talks

The Slovakian prime minister, Robert Fico, criticised EU sanctions against Russia as a 'meaningless' gesture that would hit growth prospects, as officials from the bloc's 28 states began emergency talks on Russia's ban on Western food imports today (14 August) .

'Why should we jeopardize the EU economy that begins to grow?' Fico told a news conference. 'If there is a crisis situation, it should be solved by other means than meaningless sanctions.'

'Who profits from [the] EU economy decreasing, Russia's economy having troubles and Ukraine economically on its knees?' he asked.

Fico also said that Slovakia had to be prepared this winter for a potential disruption to the third of EU gas imports that arrive from Russia, 40% of which transit via Ukraine.

Last week, Russia announced a one-year embargo on meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the EU, Canada, Australia and Norway in retaliation for Western economic sanctions over Moscow's involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.

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