Belgians ignore EU sanctions against Moscow

Belgian companies continue expanding their businesses in Russia despite the sanctions imposed by the West against Moscow over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told RIA Novosti in an interview.

“Despite the unfavorable conjuncture, Belgian companies haven’t frozen their projects in Russia, and even continue to develop their businesses,” Lukashevich said.

Both, Russian and Belgian companies express unflagging interest in future cooperation, Lukashevich said.“Even given the counterproductive European Union policy of maintaining sanctions against Russia, the business circles of the two countries continue expressing unflagging mutual interest in increasing bilateral cooperation,” he stated.

The Foreign Ministry’s representative said that some 35 Belgian companies are currently implementing their projects in Russia.

Lukashevich cited an example when in March 2014, Belgian Fluxys and Russia’s Yamaltrade signed a 20-year agreement to organize the transit of up to 8.8 billion tons of Yamal liquefied natural gas per year through the Port of Zeebruge.

Since 2014, the United States, the European Union, and their allies have imposed several rounds of economic sanctions against Moscow, citing the Kremlin’s alleged involvement in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Russia has repeatedly denied the accusations, adding that the sanctions policy is ineffective and counterproductive.

Several European companies that have been successful in the Russian market have also expressed their disappointment with the anti-Russia sanctions, saying that the measures hinder their businesses.