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25 January 2012 - 14:29

Russian Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Vladimir Chizhov has decried as “improper” the European bloc's decision to impose sanctions on Iran's oil, warning that the move will destabilize global oil market.

It is not right to decide to impose sanctions against Iran while the country has expressed its readiness to resume negotiations on its nuclear program, Chizhov said on Tuesday.

Iran also voiced readiness to allow [a visit by] the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in late January, he added.

The Russian diplomat emphasized that the embargo would disrupt the global oil market and would bring about a jump in oil prices, reiterating, however, that such a surge in prices will be a short-term trend.

EU foreign ministers reached an agreement in Brussels on January 23 to impose sanctions on oil imports from Iran over the country's nuclear program as of July 1. The sanctions involve an immediate ban on all new oil contracts with the Islamic Republic and a freeze on the assets of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) within the EU.

Following the decision, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rejected the unilateral sanctions against Iran, saying the sanctions would be "unhelpful."

"Unilateral sanctions do not help matters," Lavrov said on Monday. "We will restrain everyone from making harsh moves. We will seek the resumption of negotiations."
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