A former Japanese prime minister has called his country’s sanctions against Russia a mistake.
Speaking at an event in Tokyo, Yukio Hatoyama, former politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan from 16 September 2009 to 2 June 2010, voiced his opposition to the restrictions introduced by Japan against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.
The statement was made at the closing ceremony of the Russian Culture Festival in Tokyo.
In September, Japan introduced a new round of sanctions against Russia.
Russia has sparked a wave of criticism after it incorporated Crimea into its territory following a referendum on the peninsula with a large ethnic Russian population.
The US and the EU imposed a raft of sanctions on Russian officials and individuals with close ties to the Kremlin.
The US also put space and military cooperation on hold, followed by some of its NATO allies, including the UK.
Trade between the EU and Russia fell sharply in 1Q 2014, echoing a sour political relationship between Moscow and Brussels split over the Ukraine crisis.
According to Eurostat, EU imports from Russia dropped more than 9 percent in the first quarter of this year totaling €49.1 billion in March, versus €54.4 billion in the first quarter of 2013.
As Euractiv.com points out, in 2013 the EU only had 27 members, which means the slide is in fact “even more significant”.
EU exports to Moscow saw a 10.5 percent decrease, shrinking from €28.7 billion to €25.6 billion.
Author: Mikhail Vesely