Western sanctions will only strengthen Russian industry – Rogozin
After an urgent closed meeting of the heads of Russian defense enterprises, Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin said that possible economic sanctions could stimulate Russian industry and only hurt its foreign partners.
The meeting took place on Thursday and afterwards the man in charge of the Russian weapons industry announced the decisions via a Twitter post.
“The result of the conversation with our industry leaders: the possible economic sanctions would only force it to work better and follow the policy of import replacement,” Rogozin tweeted. “Instead, the boomerang of sanctions would hit and hurt foreign partners,” the official added.
“Hard to believe that in the conditions of a continuing economic recession Western politicians find some pleasure in hurting the businesses that use Russian markets as the only opportunity to maintain the production and to keep jobs,” Rogozin wrote.
The Deputy PM paid special attention to the situation in Ukraine because of the close ties between Russian and Ukrainian weapons companies dating back to the centralized economy of the Soviet Union. In early February he expressed hope that economic cooperation with Russia could help Ukraine create more jobs and eventually end the social tensions ravaging the country.
Earlier this week, veteran Russian parliamentarian and head of the Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky told reporters that the sanctions would not have any negatively impact the Russian economy directly. “The USA is ready to support anyone if this would help them spite Russia, this is still the remnants of the Cold War,” the politician noted.
The European Union and the United States have threatened Russia with various sanctions over its position on the Ukrainian political crisis and the support to the Crimean Autonomous Republic that is currently preparing a referendum on possible succession from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation. The measures include visa bans, asset freezes and various economic restrictions. Polish PM Donald Tusk told the press on Tuesday that the decision to impose sanctions had already been made and they would start as soon as Monday.
The US authorities announced last week that they had imposed visa restrictions on Russian and Crimean officials and private citizens who they accused of “threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity.”
The move prompted telephone talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry as well as a telephone conversation between presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama
FM Lavrov warned that any sanctions against Russia will have a “boomerang” effect and urged Washington to steer away from actions that could hurt relations between the countries.
President Putin explained to President Obama that Russia could not ignore the pleas for help from the Ukrainian Russian-speaking population, and that all Russia’s actions were in full compliance with international law. He also emphasized that he regarded Russian-US relations as of paramount importance to guarantee stability and security in the world.
“These relations should not be sacrificed to differences over individual – even though very important – international problems,” Putin said according to the press release issued after the talks.