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Russian government officials warn against isolating Russia

March 05, 2014, 20:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"The language of threats is inefficient in the modern world," Valentina Matvienko noted
1 pages in this article
© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, March 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's parliamentary upper house Speaker Valentina Matvienko has called on Western countries to stop uttering threats and to start a dialogue with Russia on the situation in Ukraine.

“The language of threats is inefficient in the modern world. What we need here is the language of a dialogue,” Matvienko told journalists after a plenary session on Wednesday.

“Russia’s economy is so much involved in the global economy today that it is hardly possible to imagine how Russia may be isolated from worldwide economic processes,” she said, adding that the European Union products occupied about 40% of the Russian market and the EU countries accounted for about 50% of Russia’s foreign trade turnover.

“The sanctions will lead to huge economic losses,” she said. “It is necessary to calm down now and to stop using the language of ultimatums and threats.”

“Any politician in his right mind understands that it is impossible to exclude Russia from settling the situation in Ukraine,” Matvienko added.

The Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee has also pointed out to American politicians threatening Russia with economic sanctions and “isolation” that we are not living in a unipolar world.

“Complete isolation is therefore impossible, while partial isolation would be useless,” the committee’s head, Mikhail Margelov said. “And sanctions are not productive at all. We have gained experience in this respect.”

He noted that even if the United States imposed any sanctions, “their effect will be unnoticeable for Russia’s economy”, because “our trading and economic relations with the U.S.” were poor, “to our deep regret and through no fault of ours”.

“Mutual investments are also scarce. Americans in Russia invest not so much in the real sector as in speculations with securities,” he said. “And a ban on U.S. dollar operations, if it follows, will only undermine confidence in American institutions, which is already not too high.”

Margelov has not ruled out the possibility that China, which is successfully developing political and economic partnership with Russia and has always supported this country on most pressing international issues, may also play a certain role.

“More than that, there are indications that in the event of sanctions against Russia, China may demand that the United States pay an astronomical sum of debts - 1,169.9 billion dollars - and probably in gold."

“I think the US Administration will not introduce any serious sanctions against Russia,” he said.

Margelov does not believe either in threats “to terminate negotiations on a visa-free regime”.

“We should not pay attention to this at all, given that official talks on this issue have not started yet and it is impossible to ‘terminate’ anything at this stage,” he said.

The senator also wondered who would lose more if the European countries froze the process of issuing long-term visas ahead of the high season.

“Citizens of our country, who spend billions of euros in Europe’s greatest tourist attractions annually, will certainly be disappointed,” Margelov said. “They will take their money to Turkey, Southeast Asia, the Red Sea coast and India and will successfully improve their mood spoilt by Brussels’ officials.”

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