MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Russia was ready for sanctions that were imposed against it but was surprised that the penalties affected athletes and journalists, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Al Jazeera TV channel.
"We were ready for sanctions but did not expect that they would affect athletes, intellectuals, actors, and journalists," Al Jazeera quoted the Russian top diplomat as saying.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to the appeal of the leaders of the republics of Donbass, decided to conduct a special military operation. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow’s plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories. After that, the US, EU, and UK, as well as several other states announced that they were imposing sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities.