‘Economic blackmail’ won’t bring West desired results – Russian PM

‘Economic blackmail’ won’t bring West desired results – Russian PM
It’s impossible to isolate Russia from the rest of the world, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, said at a plenary session at the Sochi International Investment Forum, adding that sanctions against Moscow won’t see the West achieving the desired results.

“It’s obvious, that one can’t speak with Russia – as well as any other state – with the language of economic blackmail,” Medvedev said.

The prime minister reminded the audience that Russia is the world’s largest country and a nuclear power, with a population of over 150 million people.

The country possesses huge amounts of natural resources as well as a large market for goods, services and investment, he said.

It remains unclear what the Western countries, which applied restrictive measures again Russia, really want to achieve, Medvedev said:

“To build a new world order that is based on an uncompromising confrontation? Or maybe just close their eyes tight and pretend that Russia no longer exists? Isolate half of the Eurasian continent from the rest of the world? Experience shows that it’s impossible. Attempts to pressure even relatively small states are ineffective, not to mention our country,” he said.

The markets which became vacant after Russian countermeasures to Western sanctions, will be quickly occupied by new players, “primarily by domestic producers,” the head of the government stressed.

Medvedev also said that the Russian market remains open to Moscow’s partners in the Customs Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan) and the CIS as well as enterprises from Latin America and Asia.

In early August, following several waves of sanctions by the US and EU, President Putin signed a decree applying a year-long embargo on a number of Western goods, food products in particular.

It’s impossible to predict the impact that Western sanctions against Russia “the world’s sixth largest economy” will have, the PM said.

“However, one thing is clear now – it’s dismantling stability of the global financial and trading system,” he stressed, adding that there’s still a chance to stop this process.

Medvedev also expressed hope that the sanctions war won’t curb the long-time efforts put into establishing effective relations between Russia and the European Union.

"We all remember how much time and work it took to establish Russia-EU relations. We appreciate it. And we wouldn’t like to see those efforts to improve relations to be in vain,” he said.

According to the prime minister, European businessmen now have “a much better understanding [of the importance of good relations with Russia] than the politicians.”

The PM said that European companies are the leading capital providers into Russian economy, which have invested over $300 billion in the country.

“Not to mention the fact that Russia remains a key energy supplier for European customers,”
he added.

Over the years, the Sochi International Investment Forum has established itself as the key investment event in Russia, widely recognized by the global business community.

The 2014 Forum is being held between September 18-21 at the media center of the Olympic Park, which hosted the Winters Games earlier this year.

The main topic of the plenary session of the event is “Russia between Europe and Asia: New regional policy under contemporary conditions.”