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Premier believes US sanctions will not harm Russia

The Russian PM and US president met at the gala dinner during the ASEAN summit on November 12

MANILA, November 14. /TASS/. New US sanctions will not fundamentally impair Russia, its economy has adapted itself to restrictive measures, while the government has the necessary array of solutions in case of surprises, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told reporters following his participation in the ASEAN summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS) in the Philippines.

"Let’s see what decisions they will make [within the framework of the implementation of the law on anti-Russian sanctions]. Anyway, we are ready for various kinds of restrictions," he said. According to Medvedev, "our economy has adapted itself" to living amid the general economic crisis and external restrictive measures. "So, nothing fundamentally new will happen, but we have the means of influencing the situation… The government has the necessary array of solutions, which can be used in case of any surprises," Medvedev concluded.

The fact that the sanctions have been imposed is "regrettable," as they create "an unacceptable level of relations with the US," Medvedev stressed. "All that has nothing to do with either individuals or anything else," the prime minister said.

He noted though that "the economy is stronger than numerous political decisions." "They impose all kinds of sanctions trying to infringe upon our interests or block our work somewhere. However, on the other hand, businesses want this [cooperation]," Medvedev noted. According to the Russian premier, the trade turnover between Russia and the US has grown recently in spite of the sanctions.

According to Medvedev, "if some of the tools of this law [US Russia sanctions bill] are used, that will affect, above all, European businesses, the interests of the European Union’s citizens," which will eventually "create tensions in the European markets, because some projects will not be implemented." "There can be some other changes, including in terms of prices," he noted.

The Russian premier stressed that the sanctions law is a tool of competition - "to promote liquefied gas supplies from the United States to the European market, and in violation of competition rules at that, and this factor cannot be overlooked either."

According to the Russian prime minister, before the United States adopted a new sanctions law in the summer of 2017, the US government was eligible to remove such restrictions, but now a congressional decision is necessary. "Actually, it means that the sanctions are being perpetuated. We can draw a parallel to the Jackson-Vanik amendment, though the scope of the new law is much wider, because in order to cancel these decisions, a new law will have to be adopted," Medvedev noted.

Meeting with Trump

Medvedev said he met and contacted with US President Donald Trump at the gala dinner during the summit on November 12 in the Philippines.

"For the first time, I met at such event with the incumbent US president, we communicated during the dinner in honor of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. As President Donald Trump sat almost next to me, we could communicate and talk," Medvedev told reporters.

Medvedev said he has good impression after communicating with Trump, but Russia-US relations worsen every day. Medvedev said the sides discussed various issues of history of relations between the two countries. "This is good. The bad thing is that despite having contacts and a chance to discuss some issues, our relations keep deteriorating every day. They have reached the lowest point over the past dozens of years," Medvedev told reporters.  The Russian prime minister noted that he remembers well the situation in the relations between the Soviet Union and the US in late 1970s and early 1980s. "Frankly speaking, I’m not sure that our relations then were worse," he said, noting that there were no laws on sanctions against the states that are Washington’s enemies.

Medvedev said he is certain new US sanctions will not fundamentally harm Russia. Medvedev said he shares the opinion of President Vladimir Putin about the general impression from communicating with Trump, saying that he is "an open and well-wishing person, with whom it is comfortable to speak about different issues." "Among other things, we [discussed] the history of our relations with the United States, World War II, and some other moments."