MOSCOW, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Russia will fight back against the extended sanctions by the European Union (EU) through possibly prolonging its countermeasures, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.
"Yesterday I discussed this issue with the president. The government will submit to him a proposal to extend our reciprocal measures against the EU for another year to December 31, 2018," Medvedev said at a government meeting.
He said the EU actions are unconstructive and Russia will respond adequately and appropriately.
The EU decided on Wednesday to prolong economic sanctions against Russia by six months until January 31, 2018, saying that the Minsk deals to bring peace to Ukraine have still not been fully implemented. This was the third extension of the sanctions since they were originally introduced in 2014.
These measures, targeting Russia's financial, energy and defense sectors as well as dual-use goods, serve as punishment for Moscow's alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis.
In response, Russia imposed an embargo on food imports from Western countries in August 2014. Following the two extensions, the import ban is due to expire at the end of 2017.
The Western sanctions are a double-edged sword as Western countries lost more than Russia did, said Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month during his annual "Direct Line" questions-and-answers session.