MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. The US steel and aluminum tariffs are in principle sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the annual Q&A session on Thursday.
"Apparently, our partners thought that they would never be affected regarding this counterproductive policy related to restrictions and sanctions. However, we see now that it is happening. Introduction of protective steel and aluminum tariffs not only for Europe, but also for Canada, for Mexico - in principle those are sanctions, though put in other terms," he said.
According to Putin, tariffs imposed by Washington are related to the country’s national interests as seen by its current leadership. "This brings us back to the necessity of developing common consistently accepted rules of conduct in the area of both security and economic cooperation," he said.
On March 23, Washington imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum products - 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum. They are valid for all countries supplying products to the US, though Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, as well as EU countries were granted a deferral until June 1.
In late May, Russia notified the WTO about possible retaliatory measures in connection with the US duties.