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Russia fears no sanctions, considers them economic, political blackmail — Duma Speaker

March 30, 2015, 18:42 UTC+3 YEREVAN

The sanctions have no legal basis, Speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin says

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Sergey Naryshkin

Sergey Naryshkin

© TASS/Russian State Duma press service/Anna Isakova

YEREVAN, March 30. /TASS/. Russia fears no sanctions and qualifies them as economic and political blackmail, Speaker of Russia’s State Duma (the lower house of the country’s parliament) Sergey Naryshkin said during his visit to Yerevan on Monday.

The sanctions "have no legal basis," the speaker said, addressing the Armenian National Assembly. "To call things by their proper names, this is political and economic blackmail," the State Duma speaker said.

"But they [the countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia] won’t be able to achieve anything," the speaker said.

Western countries imposed several sets of sanctions against Russia last year over its stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine. The sanctions range from visa bans to restricted access for Russian companies and banks to western capital markets.

The sanctions were a major cause for the ruble’s slump at the end of last year amid a ban on Russian companies and banks to raise medium-and long-term financing on international capital markets and the need to repay large foreign currency liabilities.

However, the Russian currency has rebounded since early 2015, rising by more than 13% against the dollar and the euro. The ruble has pared most of its losses since mid-December 2014 when it fell to a record low of 80 rubles to the dollar and 100 rubles to the euro.

The Russian economy is recovering despite western sanctions while the ruble has been less volatile than any of the world’s 30 major currencies this year, Bloomberg analysts said.

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