GORKI, April 9. /TASS/. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev asked the government to draft proposals on support for domestic companies exposed to new US sanctions.
"As far as our companies falling under sanctions are concerned, an issue of providing support to them should be considered. This refers to metals, the energy sector, and trading in defense products," Medvedev said.
"Specific proposals should be drawn up regarding concrete support that can be provided to companies," he noted.
According to Medvedev, US sanctions against Russia are unacceptable and illegitimate protectionism.
"Friday sanctions against our country is yet another manifestation of this protectionist policy, with a veil of sanctions also drawn over it," Medvedev said. "Such decisions are definitely unacceptable. We regard them as illegitimate because they are completely outside the plane of the international law," the prime minister said.
"The US Treasury Department announced new restrictions against 24 our citizens and 14 Russian companies," Medvedev noted. "Just as in all previous sanction activities, we see an absolutely obvious, simple and pragmatic goal in that - to solve economic tasks by non-competitive methods," the prime minister said. "The economic essence is to promote US commercial interests worldwide contrary to effective trading rules, contrary to the established order," he added.
"This is actually an obstacle to normal operations of Russian companies, which are successfully operating on global markets and compete with the US business in this aspect," Medvedev said.
Medvedev also said that Russia reserves the right to respond to new US sanctions.
"Of course, we reserve the right to respond, including the current trade agreements and procedures," the prime minister said.
The head of the Cabinet instructed the vice-premiers, ministers "to work out effective counter measures of the Russian Federation."
"There should be no doubt that in a number of cases they [the countermeasures] will follow," Medvedev said.
On April 6, the US authorities imposed sanctions against a number of Russian officials, businessmen and companies. The list includes head of Gazprom Alexei Miller, head of VTB Andrei Kostin, owner of Renova Viktor Vekselberg, general director of Surgutneftegaz Vladimir Bogdanov, board member of Sibur Kirill Shamalov, businessmen Igor Rotenberg, Oleg Deripaska and Suleiman Kerimov.