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8 Nov, 2023 14:20

Sanctions here to stay – Moscow

The country is in no rush to resume engagements with the West anyway, according to Sergey Lavrov
Sanctions here to stay – Moscow

Russia does not expect the US and its allies to lift their sanctions anytime soon, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“We understand perfectly well that the sanctions imposed against us will not go away in the foreseeable future, and even in the longer term,” the diplomat told a roundtable with Russian ambassadors in Moscow.

Russia “does not need” relief “not because we choose isolationism or self-sufficiency,” but because “the West decided to destroy the world economy for the sake of teaching Russia a lesson.”

The cost of sanctions to European nations, which rejected Russian energy and raw materials and lost its market due to their decision to conduct an economic decoupling, can be conservatively estimated at €250 billion ($266.6 billion), the minister said.

Lavrov specifically mentioned the “terrorist attacks” against the Nord Stream undersea gas pipelines in September 2022, saying they “put an end to the hopes in Europe that someday cheap gas will be back and stimulate their economy once again.”

“Instead, they are getting expensive American fuel, which, by the way, has a pretty bad carbon footprint,” he noted. “That’s their choice. They submitted to the hegemon, and must draw their own conclusions now, that is, if they are still capable of that.”

The anti-Russia sanctions worsened the existing imbalances in the global economy, including those stemming from the Western push for a fast transition to renewable energy amid the slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the diplomat added.

Western nations ramped up sanctions pressure against Russia after the Ukraine conflict escalated into open hostilities in February 2022. Moscow perceives them as one element in a proxy war in which Ukrainian people are sacrificed as “cannon fodder” by Washington.

The Russian government has repeatedly insisted that the country has withstood the attempts to strangle its economy through sanctions.