MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. The West has been threatening to "punish" other countries for any cooperation with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the State Duma on Wednesday.
"The West is mum on its assessments, it just delegates emissaries who arrive at foreign ministries and say: `You should stop cooperating with Russia; don’t receive delegations, don’t buy weapons’. Is this how democracy works?" the Russian foreign minister wondered.
"I have been in touch with my counterparts, too. Many of them shared with me confidentially that they (Western countries - TASS) tell them: ‘We will punish you, unless you stop doing what it is you being asked to stop doing’," he added.
Commenting on how third countries had been actively using Russia’s Mir payment cards until the United States "started slapping on the wrist all those independent nations who made independent decisions," he said, "Since you are democrats who respect the sovereign right of countries as the fundamental principle of the United Nations, let the others look at the facts and listen to the sides to decide."