Europe is becoming increasingly aware of the fact that the ongoing sanctions policy targeting Russia not only is pointless but also has an adverse effect on the national economies of EU member states, Sergei Zheleznyak, a member of the Russian lower house’s International Affairs Committee, said Monday.

“Europe is more and more aware of its own deficiency without Russia in addressing the majority of problems and challenges and realizes the senselessness and futility of sanctions policy and inadequacy of anti-Russian hysteria,” Zheleznyak said, commenting on media reports about the Council of Europe considering to lift anti-Russian sanctions.

Zheleznyak pointed out that citizens of EU member states are becoming increasingly aware of the inconsistency of anti-Russian sanctions and its negative impacts on the European economies.

“We have also witnessed the fact that the absence of direct links between the sanctions imposed on Russia and the crisis in Ukraine is becoming more and more clear for sensible Europeans. Besides, the anti-Russian sanctions regime has a tangible effect on national economies of European countries and causes considerable discontent among citizens of European states,” the lawmaker stressed.

Relations between Russia and Europe deteriorated in 2014 over Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the developments in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev launched a military operation after residents of the region refused to recognize the new national government. European countries imposed a package of sanctions against Russia over its alleged interference in the Ukrainian crisis.

In February 2015, the conflicting parties reached a peace agreement during talks brokered by the Normandy Four – Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine – in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Despite the accord, ceasefire violations continue and the situation in the region remains tense.