Wednesday, April 17, 2024

You can keep your sanctions for all we care, says Russia

Russia will not ask the US and European Union (EU) member nations to lift sanctions imposed on Moscow in wake of ongoing “military operations” in Kyiv, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Vershinin said. 

Washington and EU “have tried very hard” to reverse the  Kremlin’s course but “nothing will come of it,” the deputy FM said while speaking to Izvestiya newspaper. Infuriated at the expansion of the plethora of economic and financial penalties against Moscow, Vershinin also claimed that the injunctions are “illegitimate.”

“Sanctions are not our decision. They are being imposed by those who, like the US, and – let’s be direct – its satellites, want to exert pressure on Russia, put our economy and ordinary Russians in a very difficult situation, doing this as a punishment for Russia’s sovereign political decisions,” Russian deputy FM, Sergey Vershinin stated.                  

Accusing the US and its European allies of imposing illegal measures in a bid to exert pressure on Moscow, Vershinin said that it will only help Russia develop its economy and independence and “rely on the friends and like-minded people that we have.” 

His statements come as the US and its European allies expanded their extensive financial and economic sanctions against Russia and major Russian organisations in the last three weeks, in addition to US-based corporations and businesses winding up investments and services from Moscow in responding to Russia’s burgeoning attack aiming to “demilitarise and denazify” Ukraine.

West began its sanctions against Russia on February 21, after Kremlin head Vladimir Putin unilaterally identified two of Ukraine’s breakaway rebel-held regions. Subsequently, Putin unleashed his military operation on Ukraine that has now entered its 19th day. Washington and its European allies have intensified penalties on Russia and pressurise the Kremlin to withdraw from Ukraine.

The said list of measures hit several economic and financial sectors, including its major revenue-earning oil and gas industry and Russian oligarchs. The US and its European allies also announced sanctions on Putin and his cabinet, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Further, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. also banned monetisation of Russian content and broadcasting Russian state-owned media like Sputnik News, RT News, and more.

Several Russian banks were also disconnected from SWIFT global banking services, including Sberbank and VTB (two largest banks of Russia, which closed the path for international financial transactions for the country. Online transaction applications like Apple Pay and Google Pay also suspended the registration of Russians who are account holders in the sanctioned banks. Visa and MasterCard suspended services in Russia ostensibly until Moscow ended its invasion of Ukraine.

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