DECEMBER 23 2011 22:25h

Russia not supporting Iran oil embargo

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MOSCOW, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Russia views Western attempts to impose an oil embargo on Iran as "counterproductive" and "harmful."

Russian Federation Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich told a news briefing in Moscow: "These (sanctions) are an inefficient and hardly productive way of solving problems. We think that any covert plans exceeding the limits of the U.N. Security Council are counterproductive, unconstructive and harmful."

Lukashevich said it is necessary to promote a dialogue of "six" international mediators because sanctions adopted by the Security Council last year "proved to be harmful to the Iranian economy. We believe the sanctions component is exhausted."

The Russian side said that the important thing is to restore the negotiation process as soon as possible between Tehran and the 5+1 group, consisting of the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany, Zerkalo newspaper reported Friday.

During an interview with the Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency Lukashevich added, "We have declared time and again that Russia is opposed to any anti-Iranian action by the international community and believes that they will be useless."