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West using sanctions as part of strategy of putting pressure on Russia — diplomat

April 08, 19:00 UTC+3 MAGADAN

Russia's Foreign Ministry has drawn a list of possible measures to respond to the sanctions, the ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Sergey Savostyanov/TASS

MAGADAN, April 8. /TASS/. The West’s anti-Russian sanctions are not a response to Russia’s actions but are rather part of a common strategy of pressure on Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday.

"The sanctions that have rained down <…> they have been coming for years. Before that they used to tell us: that’s clear, that’s because of Crimea. And before Crimea, what for? <…> It is clear for us why. It has nothing to do with some virtual meddling with elections, it has nothing to do with either Crimea or Ukraine… It is a strategy, a knock-down-Russia game," she said in an interview with the Voskresny Vecher weekly news roundup on the Rossiya-1 television channel.

Nevertheless, according to Zakharova, Russia has never wanted to embark on an anti-West course, despite the sanctions and provocations. "Each time, we say that our goal is cooperation, that we stand for a constructive dialogue, that we are ready to resolve all problems at a negotiating table. Is it an anti-West course, is it whipping up aggression, is it refusal from cooperation?," she stressed.

Russian Response

Russia’s Foreign Ministry is looking at possible measures to respond to the United States’ new sanctions, with a list of such measures being already drawn Zakharova added.

"The response will be given. We always do it. We have drawn an entire list of possible measures we are looking at," she said.

"I’d rather not be anticipating," she said when asked whether such measures would be tough enough.

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