Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant said that due to the hype surrounding anti-Russia sanctions, the European Union is not tackling more vital issues such as countering terrorism, which require an international response. Sant said that instead of discussing further sanctions, Europe should seek to restore a sane appreciation of EU–Russian ties. Dr. Sant, speaking to Sputnik, said both sides know they are hurting each other, and deep down, both sides are asking themselves what is the point of all this.

The Russian news agency asked for Dr. Sant’s comments following the European Council’s decision to keep economic sanctions against Russia. Quizzed by Sputnik whether more sanctions should be imposed on Russia, Dr. Sant replied, ‘I don’t think this is the right question to ask, even now. We should ask what brought us to this point? And how can we get back to a sane appreciation of EU – Russian relations? Both sides have genuine deep and unnecessary grievances against each other, both sides have been acting in bad faith, both sides know they are hurting each other, and deep down, both sides are asking themselves: but what is the point of all this?’

Alfred Sant said monopolistic forces on both sides of the “divide” will benefit from further sanctions against Russia. ‘They profit either way, with more or with less sanctions against and by Russia.’

Dr. Sant said that most European countries believe that there should be a negotiated settlement of the problems that have arisen. ‘Some disbelieve that Russia wants to solve them and they therefore think that sanctions are the only way out. Others believe that a settlement can be achieved without sanctions. Still others, and I agree with them, believe that this has been a lousy way of doing things, both from the EU and from the Russian end. Meanwhile, the needed joint action between all Europeans, of course including Russia, to respond according to European values to the new global wave of barbarism/terrorism remains unattended.’

Alfred Sant: ‘Europeans, including Russians, should cooperate on combating the new global wave of terrorism’.

ADDENDA

SPUTNIK’s report is available on this link – http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150320/1019792009.html

You can also follow hereunder the transcript of Question/Answer by Dr. Alfred Sant wth SPUTNIK.

Q. Do you think more sanctions should be imposed on Russia?

A. I don’t think this is the right question to ask, even now. We should ask what brought us to this point? And how can we get back to a sane appreciation of EU – Russian relations? Both sides have genuine deep and unnecessary grievances against each other, both sides have been acting in bad faith, both sides know they are hurting each other, and deep down, both sides are asking themselves: but what is the point of all this?

Q. What accounts for the split among the European countries with regard to sanctioning Russia?

A. Most European countries believe that there should be a negotiated settlement of the problems that have arisen. Some disbelieve that Russia wants to solve them and they therefore think that sanctions are the only way out. Others believe that a settlement can be achieved without sanctions. Still others, and I agree with them, believe that this has been a lousy way of doing things, both from the EU and from the Russian end. Meanwhile, the needed joint action between all Europeans, of course including Russia, to respond according to European values to the new global wave of barbarism/terrorism remains unattended.

Q. Is there someone benefitting from further sanctions against Russia?

A. Monopolistic forces on both sides of the “divide”. They profit either way, with more or with less sanctions against and by Russia.

Maltese Version

‘L-EWROPEJ, INKLUŻ IR-RUSSI GĦANDHOM JIKKUMBATTU L-MEWĠA ĠDIDA TA’ TERRORIŻMU’

Alfred Sant qal li kemm l-UE u anki r-Russja qabdu t-triq ħazina biex isolvu l-problemi ta’ bejniethom u hemm bżonn ta’ azzjoni bejn l-Ewropej kollha, inkluż ir-Russi, biex skond il-valuri Ewropej tinstab soluzzjoni u jibdew jiffaċċjaw flimkien il-mewġa globali ġdida ta’ terroriżmu/barbariżmu. Dr. Sant qal li s-sanzjonijiet Russi qed itellfu lill-Unjoni Ewropea milli tikkonċentra fuq aktar miżuri kontra t-terroriżmu li jitolbu rispons internazzjonali. Dr. Sant, li kien intervistat mill-aġenzija Russa Sputnik, qal li l-Ewropej u r-Russi jafu li qegħdin iweġġgħu lil xulxin bis-sanzjonijiet li imponew fuq xulxin.

L-aġenzija Russa talbet il-kummenti ta’ Dr. Sant wara li l-Kunsill Ewropew iddeċieda li jibqgħu fis-sanzjonijiet ekonomiċi kontra r-Russja. Mitlub minn Sputnik jekk għandhomx ikunu imposti aktar sanzjonijiet kontra r-Russja, Dr. Sant wieġeb: ‘Ma naħsibx li din għandha tkun il-mistoqsija. Għandna nistaqsu għala kellna naslu sa hawn? U kif nistgħu mmorru lura għal relazzjonijiet siewja bejn l-UE u r-Russja? Iż-żewġ naħat huma suspettużi minn xulxin, qed jaġixxu ‘in bad faith’ u jafu li qed iweġġgħu lil xulxin.

Dr. Sant qal li ħafna pajjiżi Ewropej jemmnu li għandu jkun hemm soluzzjoni negozjata għall-problemi li nqalgħu. ‘Uħud ma jemmnux li r-Russja trid issolvi l-problemi u għalhekk jaħsbu li s-sanzjonijiet huma l-uniku soluzzjoni. Oħrajn jemmnu li jista’ jkun hemm qbil mingħajr sanzjonijiet. Oħrajn, u jien naqbel magħhom, jemmnu li kemm l-UE u kemm ir-Russja qabdu t-triq ħażina biex isolvu l-problemi. Hemm bżonn ta’ azzjoni bejn l-Ewropej kollha, inkluż ir-Russi, biex skond il-valuri Ewropej tinstab soluzzjoni u jibdew jiffaċċjaw flimkien il-mewġa globali ġdida ta’ terroriżmu/barbariżmu.’

Sant qal li l-forzi monopolistiċi fuq iż-żewġ naħat li qed jitfgħu l-ħatab fin-nar ikomplu jgawdu jekk ikun hemm aktar sanzjonijiet kontra r-Russja.