Russia has said it is deeply concerned at new sanctions the European Union imposed on Iran this week. Moscow said they undermine negotiations between six global powers and Iran to rein in its nuclear program.
In a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, Russia said the EU sanctions were counter-productive and "unacceptable."
The measures "undermine the resumption of negotiations with Iran which, in our opinion, have registered progress," the ministry said.
The talks referred to involve six nations - the United States, France, Britain, China, Germany and Russia - which have been holding negotiations with Iran in a bid to stop uranium enrichment. No meetings have been held since June.
However, a statement from the Russian ministry said "we will continue to consistently seek to achieve the organization of the next round of negotiations... as soon as possible."
"We repeat: We do not consider unilateral sanctions, introduced by states or groups of states circumventing the UN Security Council, as legitimate instruments of international policy," it said.
"We are again forced to establish that the inconsiderate gestures of the European Union countries strike a sensitive blow to the unity of the group of six international negotiators."
Tough new sanctions agreed to by the EU this week target state oil and gas companies as well as Iran's central bank. Their purpose is to force a breakthrough in talks on the country's nuclear program.
The EU continues to accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the cover of a nuclear power generation program. Tehran continues to deny the accusations.
jr/rc (AFP, Reuters)