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US elite use Kremlin List to fight Trump and settle political scores, Russia's PM says

Dmitry Medvedev is certain that another spiral of anti-Russian sanctions, should it follow, is not a threat to Russia
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

SOCHI, February 15. /TASS/. The Kremlin List is a US domestic issue, because part of that country’s establishment is using it to pursue its goals, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told the Rossiya-24 television channel in an interview.

"As far as the current topic of all these lists (both published and unpublished) is concerned, it is largely an internal problem of the United States. It is a problem about the struggle between the US establishment and President Trump. It is a problem of settling old scores between the Democrats and the Republicans. It is a problem of controversies inside the Republican segment of the US elite. The Russian focus revolves around all this. A significant part of the US establishment is using it in attempts to attain its own internal aims," he said.

Medvedev stressed that idea that "for businesses being included in some lists invariably rings alarm bells, and this is precisely what those who try to put pressure on our country count on. This concerns not so much Russian businesses as European ones."

"When the lists are put together they say: look, this or that company has been blacklisted. Be careful in relations with it, because we have pointed at it. They do so for purely pragmatic reasons. They wish to promote their companies on European markets and phase our own out, to disrupt the economic ties that have emerged between the European Union and Russia over decades," Medvedev said.

For example, he said, in their legislation the Americans are waging a war against the Nord Stream project, but not because it runs counter to the ideology of the US administration or Congress, but for much more simple reasons. They seek to bring their liquefied natural gas to the European market and attempt to push Russia to the sidelines."

About sanctions against Russia in the financial sphere, Medvedev said that "however tight the loop may get they will fail to surround us without any chances for us of getting out."

"To a large extent, we meet the financial needs at the expense of internal resources. Also, we look for new markets. True, a number of projects have been jeopardized due to financial sanctions, but we have been able to identify other resources and to mobilize the internal potential. But let us say outright: it would have been much better if no such decisions ever existed, because they harm both foreign and Russian businesses," Medvedev said.

On anti-Russian sanctions 

Dmitry Medvedev is certain that another round of anti-Russian sanctions, should it follow, is not a threat to Russia.

"We are not waiting for anything. Possibly everything that is bound to happen will happen before long. If somebody is determined to do this, it can be done," Medvedev pointed out when asked about the risk of another round of anti-Russian sanctions.
"It’s their own headache. We are prepared for any decisions," he said.

He believes that "the Russian economy over the past two years has shown that it is capable of coping with major challenges, including restrictions on trade and finance.”

"Nothing will change fundamentally after they publish some more lists or announce some decisions," Medvedev said.

At the same time, he remarked: "This does not mean that we are not monitoring the situation. We are getting ready."

As an example, he cited the decision to create a special bank for servicing the needs of the defense industry.

"Just in case, to ensure that we should not be caught off guard," he explained.
"By and large, I can see no considerable threats to our economy, let alone the country’s people," he reiterated.