Publication Date : Sunday 21 September 2014 17:20
Russia warns West over 'foolish' sanctions
Russia has described as “foolish” the Western sanctions imposed on the country, warning that European countries won’t be able to return to the Russian market once the sanctions are removed.
“These foolish sanctions will pass, but international relations will continue. And currency markets will open up,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Vesti 24 TV channel.
“The niches in our [Russian] economy, which will by then be occupied by local produces or other foreign producers... our European counterparts wouldn’t be able to come back,” he added.
He pointed out that Asian and Latin American companies that will replace the European ones in the Russian market will maintain their positions after the sanctions are over.
“This is the price Europe will have to pay” for attempting to exert economic pressure on Russia.
“We’re decent people. If we reach agreements, then we fulfill the existing contracts, including those with our Latin American and Asian counterparts, of course. And those of our Western partners, who’ll be eager to return, will only be able to take the remaining share, nothing more,” he further noted.
If the European countries continue to be hostile toward Russia, “many of our products, a significant portion of our resources and much of our trade will switch to the Asia-Pacific region,” the Russian premier further said.
Early in August, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered government agencies to restrict agricultural imports from the countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow.
Medvedev enforced the economic tit-for-tat sanctions following a recent decision by the European Union and United States to tighten sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.
The Western powers accuse Moscow of playing a role in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, which broke out when Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Russia protests in April; Russia denies the accusation.