Sanctions rebounding on West – ex-Russian president
The West is already feeling the “sweet consequences” of its sanctions against Russia, but these measures will remain in place “for a very, very long time,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.
Since the beginning of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine in late February, US, EU, UK and many other countries have imposed harsh restrictions on Moscow. Russia considers the measures “unlawful” and “unjustified.”
Speaking at the United Russia party’s forum on entrepreneurship, Medvedev, who currently serves as a deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, said that “the Western world is driving itself into a global crisis with its own hands.”
“But, in fact, the Europeans have felt all the sweet consequences of anti-Russian sanctions – inflation, hyperinflation, rising prices for fuel, housing, utilities, food, everyday goods, job cuts,” he said.
He admitted that Russia is also suffering because of the “stupid” restrictions but, according to him, the difference between it and the West is that Russia has “a noble goal.”
“We must find an answer to attempts to limit the development of our state,” Medvedev explained.
Russia should be prepared for sanctions to remain in place for a long time, he added.
“We understand that these sanctions … will be one of the systemic ways to fight for world leadership and fight against the development of our state, and this will continue for a very, very long time,” he stressed.
As an example of long-standing restrictions, he referenced the infamous Jackson-Vanik Amendment of 1974 – a provision in US federal law restricting the country’s trade with non-market economies – which survived for four decades and was lifted in 2012, only to be replaced by another round of sanctions.
“We can imagine the degree of frenzy, rigidity and constancy with which these restrictions will be applied,” Medvedev said, adding that Russia will have to live in such conditions “for a very, very long time, regardless of which administration is in power in the United States of America, regardless of any European decisions.”
In Medvedev’s opinion, the sanctions represent a much more difficult challenge than the pandemic. He explained that while the whole world was fighting Covid “there were no such obvious ideological differences.”
“And what is happening now is a completely different story,” he stressed.
The former president’s remarks came after the current Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, warned that the “sanctions obsession” of the West would inevitably lead to “intractable consequences” both for the EU and for the world’s poorest states “which already face the risks of famine.”
Over the last three months, Russia has seen unprecedented economic restrictions. The US has, among other measures, placed an embargo on Russian oil, one of the country’s major export commodities, while the EU is currently preparing its sixth package of sanctions, and also considering an oil ban. Russia has been cut off from the SWIFT interbank messaging system, while banks, organizations, and individuals have been sanctioned, and assets – including half of the country’s forex reserves – have been frozen. Russia has responded with countermeasures.