MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia accused the European Union of double standards on Saturday, saying it had lifted a ban on supplying Ukraine with military technology and equipment “on the quiet” but imposed sanctions on Moscow’s defence sector.
Relations between Moscow and Brussels have deteriorated since the EU imposed sanctions on Russia over its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting government forces.
“During a recent meeting of the Council of Europe in Brussels, leaders of EU member states agreed ‘on the quiet’ to remove restrictions on exports to Kiev of equipment that could be used for internal repression,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.
“Exports of military technologies and equipment were also allowed,” the statement said, without saying exactly when the decision was taken by the EU.
The Foreign Ministry, which has suggested the EU is dictated to by the United States, also called on EU leaders not to be “goaded” by Washington over events in eastern Ukraine.
The EU passed its heaviest penalties on Moscow this week, imposing sanctions on Russia’s defence, energy and financial sectors.
It agreed in February to review export licences for deliveries of military technology and equipment to Kiev and to suspend export licences for riot-control equipment that could be used by ousted president Viktor Yanukovich’s government for “internal repression.”
In July, the EU revoked that agreement. Its members did not impose an outright ban on military equipment exports to Ukraine but instead agreed to review such exports.
EU officials in Brussels were not immediately available for comment.
Reporting by Alexander Winning in Moscow and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels, Editing by Timothy Heritage