The sanctions of the European Union against Russia are ineffective and not beneficial, said the President of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman during a meeting with Ambassadors of the country, Zpravy news outlet reports.
The President expressed his approval of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s earlier statement on the need to lift sanctions against Russia. "These sanctions benefit no one. I am pleased that the Prime Minister publicly stated that they are not effective," he said. Zeman also stated that the European Union should raise the issue of usefulness of the sanctions for discussion.
"The new government in Italy is against sanctions, and after the visit of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, Austria states the same,” the President of Czech Republic said.
Zeman is known for his pro-Russian statements and has mostly ceremonial powers but his comments in support of Russia and Putin raised some concerns from the Czech government and the Western allies.
He also questioned the effectiveness of western sanctions imposed against Russia due to its aggression in Ukraine. Zeman said Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian Crimea in 2014 was “an accomplished fact” and believes that there should be a dialogue on compensating Ukraine for it “with gas, oil or money.”