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30 Jun, 2022 14:34

Sanctions can be perceived as casus belli – Medvedev

“Cynical” unilateral restrictions from the West can ultimately be viewed as an act of aggression, former Russian president warns
Sanctions can be perceived as casus belli – Medvedev

Unilateral sanctions can be perceived as an “act of international aggression” and Russia has a right to self-defense, its former President Dmitry Medvedev has warned.

Speaking at the 10th International legal forum in Saint Petersburg, Medvedev blasted the “cynical practice of unilateral restrictive measures against Russia, the illegality of which has been repeatedly emphasized at all levels.”

This practice is “somewhat akin to a declaration of economic war, as our opponents themselves say,” he added.

Under certain circumstances, such hostile steps can be perceived as an act of international aggression. And even as a casus belli. In response to them, the state has the right to individual and collective self-defense.

However, Moscow still holds “weak hope” that the West will abandon its “vicious practices” and “repent of its own stupidity,” Medvedev stated. “It is our hope that our former Western partners will have the courage to admit their strategic miscalculations, which, according to the UN itself, have affected more than 1.5 billion people and provoked a surge in global inflation, food shortages, and the growth of poverty,” he said.

Should such hopes not materialize, Russia “will live” on its own without the West, the ex-president explained. “Today’s world is not at all limited to the borders of Western countries,” he said.

Over the past few years, Russia has repeatedly been subjected to assorted sanctions by the US and its allies. This pressure began to grow exponentially after Moscow launched its large-scale military operation in neighboring Ukraine in late February. Since then, Russia has been hit by several waves of restrictions, ultimately becoming the most-sanctioned country in the world.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.