"So far, the Verkhovna Rada has not carried out a single reform stipulated by the Minsk II accords. This is why we back the lifting of sanctions against Russia. Excuse me, but logically, there are two ways. First, anti-Russian sanctions must be lifted, and second, sanctions must be introduced against Ukraine. Because right now, Kiev is showing disrespect by failing to implement the Minsk accords. The main responsibility is with the Ukrainian side," Mariani said in an interview with the Russian Izvestia newspaper, published on Friday.
The chances of the Senate approving the resolution are high, Mariani said, adding that the upper house is dominated by his opposition party The Republicans, which had a harder time pushing the resolution through the Socialist-dominated lower house.
"This resolution send a certain signal to the government…popular opinion appears to contradicts the idea of sanctions," he stressed.
The United States, the European Union and some of their allies have imposed several rounds of sanctions targeting key sectors of the Russian economy, as well as a number of individuals and entities, over Crimea’s reunification with Russia and accusations of Moscow's alleged interference in the Ukrainian conflict, which the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.