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Sanctions hardly contribute to peace – Argentinian FM

Sanctions will not help to achieve peace and foster dialogue, Argentinian Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero told Telam news agency on Saturday, adding that his nation will not place restrictions on Russia over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“What Argentina seeks and proposes is a return to dialogue,” the foreign minister said in Rome, where he met with his Italian counterpart, Luigi Di Maio.

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Cafiero also said that his nation does not even have a regulatory framework for unilateral sanctions, and instead has a law that prevents these types of actions by the government. Buenos Aires addresses the challenge that the world faces today “with a call for peace,” he added.

We honestly do not believe that imposing sanctions or blockades will be productive for peace, dialogue, and diplomatic negotiations.

Speaking about the role of sanctions in the Latin American region, Cafiero said that “what this type of action … has generated is greater inequality and greater setbacks from a social point of view.”

Argentina was also one of the few nations – alongside Mexico and Brazil – that abstained during the vote on suspending Russia’s status as a permanent observer to the Organization of American States (OAS) over its actions in Ukraine. The resolution was still passed earlier this week and was lauded by the US as a “clear message to the Kremlin.”

“The overwhelming number of countries in the Americas called upon the Kremlin to end its unconscionable war of choice, withdraw its forces, and comply with international law,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Thursday.

The US and its allies in Europe and beyond have imposed an unprecedented number of sanctions against Russia over its military operation in Ukraine. The restrictions target Russia’s financial and banking sectors, space and aviation industries, as well as fuel exports.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

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