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8 Oct, 2022 13:35

Russia warns West over ‘economic aggression’

The foreign minister says Moscow will respond “with full force” if necessary
Russia warns West over ‘economic aggression’

Russia’s patience with regards to Western sanctions and acts of economic aggression is not unlimited, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

“Obviously, we have all the capabilities to defend our national interests. We will deploy them with full force if necessary,” Lavrov told Russian newspaper Argumenty i Fakty on Saturday.

“Those speaking to Russia with the language of sanctions must remember that so far we have been responding to the acts of economic aggression in a rather restrained manner, and yet our patience is not limitless.” 

Many countries imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in February.

“They have failed to have the Russian economy hanging ‘in tatters’ … And they will continue to fail,” Lavrov added, referring to then-US President Barack Obama’s description of the intended effects of the sanctions in 2015.

The foreign minister claimed that the economic restrictions backfired, spurring high inflation and energy shortages in the West. “This is the price ordinary citizens pay for the Russophobia of their politicians,” he said.

Lavrov stated that Russia will focus on “strengthening its economic and technological sovereignty, establishing alternative financial and logistical chains to facilitate foreign trade.” 

To do this, Moscow will continue to foster trade ties in Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East, he said.

The US imposed further restrictions last week, blacklisting additional companies and targeting more than 200 Russian legislators. The EU unveiled its eighth package of sanctions on Thursday, adding 30 individuals and seven entities to the blacklist.

The new restrictions came after President Vladimir Putin signed treaties on the accession of four former Ukrainian territories to Russia. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia in referendums held last month.

Ukraine and its Western allies consider the vote illegal and have refused to recognize the results.