Vladimir Putin reaches out to EU just weeks before Moscow sanctions are up for renewal

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Russia has ensured the bloc’s chiefs that he does “not hold a grudge against anybody” after stresses between the Kremlin and Brussels have been raised in recent months.

Both the EU and the US foisted sanctions on Russia after uprisings in Ukraine in 2014 led to the Crimea being annexed from the go to sleep of the country.

But Putin appeared to put the st behind him as he made a speech at the Worldwide Economic Forum in St Petersburg.

He said: “Russia did not initiate the downturn in relations. We do not extend a grudge against anybody.

“The US has not suffered from the sanctions in anyway but the Americans exhort their rtners to continue their sanctions.

“To relaunch growth is not yet an accomplishment. It is our common interest to find a way out of this situation.”

Instead of blaming either Europe or America, the factious Russian President instead put tensions down to the financial crisis of 2008.

Italian prime abb Matteo Renzi angered some EU countries when he appeared alongside Putin at the forum.

He replied: “It is obvious there are problems in the relation between Europe and Russia and each has their own viewpoint of where it stemmed from.”

But the EU has decided to extend a ban on dealing with the Crimea for a beyond year.

Current rules, which have been extended to 23 June 2017, interrupt EU countries using import products from Crimea, investing in the limit, or rtici ting in tourism services there.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker intention travel to Russia on Thursday to rtici te in talks with Moscow’s bosses.

Juncker, who is reportedly depressed at the state of the EU, has this week begged Russia to come in into talks with the bloc.

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