Putin says Russia won't compromise on national interests

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/6/21 9:14:13

The West has no interest in changing its attitude towards Russia, and therefore Moscow will not compromise on its fundamental national interests in the face of sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

"There is no talk about a truce. If we totally surrender and spit on our fundamental national interests, will there be any fundamental changes? Maybe there will be some external signals. But nothing will change dramatically," Putin said in an annual live call-in session.

Putin added that Russia's losses from economic sanctions were more than five times lower than those of the main countries which imposed them.

"According to expert data, as a result of these restrictions, Russia lost about 50 billion US dollars since 2014, while the European Union lost 240 billion dollars, the United States 17 billion dollars, and Japan 27 billion dollars," Putin said.

He said the losses have been reflected in a reduction of jobs in those countries, which are losing the Russian market.

Western countries have imposed various sets of economic sanctions against Russian entities and individuals since Crimea was incorporated into Russia in 2014 following a referendum and due to Moscow's alleged interference in the hostilities in Ukraine.

Moscow responded with counter sanctions, which included imports of some goods including foodstuffs from Western countries.

However, the sanctions have had a positive effect as they forced Russia to "switch on its brains" and to develop some sectors of its economy, including high technology.

Putin said that after the introduction of the sanctions, Russia has launched an import substitution program in the amount of 667 billion rubles (around 10.6 billion dollars) to develop lagging areas.

Posted in: EUROPE

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