(QHA) -

Russia's foreign minister has told European businesspeople that Western sanctions imposed on Moscow are not helping to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a meeting of the Association of European Businesses (AEB) that the sanctions "do not contribute to de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine."

Lavrov told the October 14 meeting in Moscow that the sanctions are "harmful" and "unlawful" and would end up costing Europe some 40 billion euros this year and some 50 billion euros next year.

He did not explain the basis for these figures.

Lavrov said Russia laments the disruption in ties with the European Union that have accompanied the sanctions.

He assure the delegates Russia was interested in building energy cooperation with the EU, saying it would be beneficial to both sides.