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Russia blasts EU's lifting of arms ban on Ukraine

Russia said on Saturday that the European Union (EU) applied double standards after it decided to lift restrictions on military-related exports to Ukraine.

The leaders of the EU member states "quietly agreed" on lifting restrictions on exports of gear to Ukraine that can be used for internal repressions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Exports of military technologies and equipment have also been allowed," it added.

Russia said the decision not only "permeated with double standards," but went against the rules of exports control of military technologies and equipment adopted by the bloc itself.

The EU imposed such restrictions on Ukraine since Feb. 20 when former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was in power.

"Then the EU considered it wrong to ship special gear and weapons to 'Yanukovych's regime' ... But the EU has found fit to fully resume the issuance of licenses to export special gear and military equipment," said the statement, citing an ongoing punitive operation Kiev launched in the country's eastern regions.

Noting it was not late to reinstate the relevant ban, Russia said the EU would bear increasing responsibility should it militarily supports Kiev.

"We are once again urging our EU counterparts to use common sense rather than being guided by opportunistic reasons and goads from Washington," the statement said.

[Source: Xinhua, Moscow, 02Aug14]

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