Foreign Ministry: Russia could not but respond to Western sanctions

MOSCOW, 9 Dec. Russia could not fail to respond to sanctions by Western countries, and the reason lies in the restrictive measures against Russian financial institutions, in particular in respect of creditors of agricultural institutions, said the head of Russian foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov in an interview with Italian media.

Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated in connection with the situation in Ukraine. At the end of July 2014, the EU and the USA from the point of sanctions against certain individuals and companies have moved to measures against entire sectors of the Russian economy. In response, Russia has restricted food imports from countries that have imposed sanctions against her. In June 2015, in response to extension of sanctions, Russia has extended food embargo until 5 August 2016.

“First of all, we reacted, by the way, not just to spite something to do with the EU. We explained it very simply. Among those sanctions, those businesses and structures that were imposed unilateral sanctions of US, EU and some other States, were our financial institutions, including institutions that lend to agricultural producers”, — said Lavrov.

“And when they cut funding, they have the ability to lend to our agricultural producers has declined sharply, which created unfair competitive advantages for exporters of food from Western economies, where lending opportunities are in no way declined. That was the reason,” said the Minister. —0-