Experts Predict No End to Russian Sanctions in Immediate Future ({{commentsTotal}})

Sanctions against Russia following the events in Ukraine have had a greater effect that was expected, but the sanctions are unlikely to be lifted in the near future, say Estonian officials in Brussels.

Paavo Palk, the policy department head at Estonia's representation to the European Commission, told ETV on Monday that all EU member states must agree before sanctions can be dropped.

A discussion organized by the representation said that only 4 percent of the union's agriculture sector has been effected by the Russian import ban.

Head of the Commission's Trade Strategy and Analysis, Market Access Directorate Signe Ratso said the food import ban has had more implications on Russians themselves.

She said Russia is unable to meet the demand for some food groups itself, or at least offer quality products to replace the banned EU foods, adding that people have had to changes their eating habits.

The Russian economy has been hit by stagnation as well as a fall in oil prices.

“The exchange of the ruble has also dropped. That is likely to be partially the result of EU and other states' sanctions. The question is when will these events make Russia change its course.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently said the EU can either make the first steps or turn Russia from a strategic partner to a strategic enemy.