MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will be obliged to take retaliatory measures if the West continues its sanctions policy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
“If the West continues these absolutely non-professional hysterical policies, we would have to think what we can do in return,” Lavrov said during an English-language interview with Bloomberg.
The minister, however, emphasized that Russia was not looking for confrontations and would not like to parrot Western countries’ behavior.
“We are not looking for confrontation and we don’t want to mimic the hectic gestures made by Washington, Brussels, some other capitals, reluctantly most of them, by the way,” Lavrov stressed.
The Russian diplomat at the same time claimed that all threats coming from Washington, as well as European capitals, are highly unprofessional, far from reality and driven only by the desire to seek revenge.
“I don’t think that economic sanctions are being considered seriously … The discussions, as I can perceive them, they are based on the desire to get revenge, which is always very bad for politicians, which is not professional for anyone who wants to be engaged in serious politics, and revenge would probably have some effect, no doubt,” the Russian foreign minister said.
“If the West, just for the sake of revenge, is ready to sacrifice its reputation as a reliable partner for the entire world economy … it is up to them to decide. The entire world would think differently,” Lavrov added.
Following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in mid-March, the US and EU imposed targeted sanctions against high-ranking Russian officials, freezing their assets and banning them from obtaining visas. Seventeen Russian companies are also on the blacklists, which have been repeatedly expanded.
Russia has also been continuously threatened with broader sanctions that could hit key sectors of the country’s economy in the event of further escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.
Moscow has condemned the measures, calling the policy of sanctions "inappropriate and counterproductive" and warned its Western partners about the "boomerang effect" that sanctions would have.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.