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Putin says Russia will lift counter-restrictions if EU cancels sanctions

Sanctions did not benefit anyone, although they became an incentive helping national agricultural producers to tap the domestic market, the Russian president noted

Russia will lift counter-restrictions if the European Union abolishes its sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday at a meeting with Thierry Mariani, head of a delegation of French politicians and the President of the French-Russian Dialog Association.

"My answer will not make our Russian agricultural producers happy but I have to tell you that if European sanctions are lifted, then we will definitely have to abolish tit-for-tat measures on our part, because there will be no original causes for their introduction," the head of state said.

Sanctions did not benefit anyone, although they became an incentive helping national agricultural producers to tap the domestic market, Putin noted. Russia climbed to the first place globally in terms of wheat export, having outpaced the United States and Canada, he said.

"Our task now is to expand our presence on the China market, that is, we have completely covered our needs," the president said. It would already be difficult for foreign producers to return to previous positions if counter-sanctions are canceled, Putin noted.

"However, in general terms, this brings damages only. These abnormal economic relations distorted because of political considerations or spoiled with use of political instruments, such as unfair competition, eventually bring damages to everyone," the president added.

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