The scope of Western sanctions surprised Moscow, says Russian foreign minister

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the scale of Western sanctions on Russia “could not have been predicted.” Lavrov is pictured during a meeting with the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates in Moscow on March 17, 2022.
Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP/Getty

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has admitted that Moscow was surprised by the scope of Western sanctions imposed on the country.

Lavrov said on Wednesday that the scale of economic sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and others could not have been “predictable” before Russia’s nearly month-long attack on Ukraine. He highlighted actions taken against Russia’s Central Bank, which contributed to devastating economic effects including the collapse of the ruble.

“When Central Bank reserves were frozen, no one could have predicted what sanctions the West would pass,” Lavrov said during a speech to students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. accordingly to Russian newspaper Kommersant. ,It’s just theft.”

“The Russian Federation should never again depend on supplies from abroad,” he said couple, “Russia has more than enough resources and mind to be self-sufficient.”

According to a statement from the ministry, during Moscow’s meeting with BRICS ambassadors on Tuesday, Lavrov “emphasized that the unprecedented economic war against Russia through sanctions is a violation of key international legal standards.” BRICS is an alliance between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Lavrov isn’t the only Russian official to have complained recently about the impact of sanctions. Russian Federation Council Vice President Galina Karelova said the sanctions put millions of Russian jobs at risk, adding that 8.4 million have experienced a change in job status since the sanctions began.

Russia Has been made The world’s most accepted country this month, leaving behind countries like Iran and North Korea. There is little to suggest that sanctions will be eased while attacks on Ukraine continue. Instead, President Joe Biden is expected to announce additional sanctions against Russia during a special meeting of NATO allies in Brussels on Thursday.

Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said during a press conference on Tuesday that the president plans to “impose further sanctions on Russia and strengthen existing sanctions and work with our allies to crack down on piracy and ensure stronger enforcement.” of it.”

“From their perspective, what we have achieved with our European partners – in terms of fiscal sanctions, export controls and other measures to hit the Russian economy hard – has had an unprecedented impact on a larger economy that we have never seen before. ” Sullivan said.

,[Biden] Feels very good about where things are today in terms of the unity and resolve of the Western Coalition on Sanctions. “We will have more to say on the restrictions in the coming days.”

During Wednesday’s address to students in Moscow, Lavrov also warned that there could be a “direct skirmish” with NATO countries if the coalition’s peacekeeping forces are sent to intervene in the Ukraine conflict.

Last week, the former Foreign Minister of Russia Andrei Kozyrev told newsweek That current Russian diplomats like Lavrov had a moral duty to resign upon the invasion of Ukraine.

“Like the military, diplomats have a responsibility to defend their country and promote their country’s interests,” Kozyrev said during a phone interview. “Ukrainians are our brothers and sisters; diplomats should not participate.”

Kozyrev said the mass resignations of Russian politicians would “absolutely cripple” the Putin regime, adding that it would be “much more powerful than any sanctions you can imagine.”

newsweek The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC was reached for comment.

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