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BERLIN, April 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Sanctions will not force Russia to do what the West wants, Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said in Berlin on Thursday.
“Time will go by, and everybody will forget about them,” he said, referring to possible penalties imposed on Russia over Ukraine in comments at the German city's East Forum.
“We will be looking for ways to protect our own interests,” Shuvalov noted. “No threats will make either President Vladimir Putin or other political forces act the way the US, Germany and other partners want them to,” Shuvalov said.
“The more appeals for sanctions we hear, the tougher they are, the stronger the Russian society will mobilize, the more united we will be,” the speaker said.
“Sanctions will harm all countries,” Shuvalov said. “We are not going to introduce reciprocal sanctions. Russia does not have such an agenda,” he added, noting that “it is clear we must take corresponding action to save our economy."
“Neither the Russian government nor the president work intentionally toward retaliating for sanctions in a painful way,” he said. “We will be absolutely calm in discussing plans to create a common economic space and even a zone of free trade between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. The Eurasian Economic Union will be established,” he pledged.
“The Western community is discussing developments in Ukraine beyond the context of the key reason of the conflict,” he noted. “It is criminal to pull Ukraine in different directions, making it choose between the EU and the Russian Federation. We, in Russia, are interested in a stable and prosperous Ukraine more than anybody else,” he said.
Speaking about this issue and further cooperation between the EU and Russia, Shuvalov said the European Commission had “behaved rather arrogantly” and this had “created certain difficulties”. He added that no divisions were being sought and confirmed the reliability of gas deliveries to Europe.
“It is our Western partners who are saying nowadays that it is necessary to destroy the foundations of economic security because of political risks,” he said. “We must not create economic difficulties for each other for the sake of some political goals and decisions,” Shuvalov added.