Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Russia’s Top Diplomat Admits Kremlin Was Shocked By Scale Of Western Sanctions

Russia’s top diplomat said that the Kremlin was surprised that Western leaders imposed the level of economic sanctions currently hurting the country — a rare admission of weakness from President Vladimir Putin’s government amid the ongoing destruction in Ukraine. “When the reserves of the Central Bank were frozen, no one who was predicting what sanctions the West would pass could have pictured that,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, according to Kommersant. Lavrov also called the sanctions an act of “theft.” “The Russian Federation must be made to never again depend on supplies from abroad. … Russia has no right to allow dependence on the West in vital sectors of its economy,” Lavrov said, according to Russian state-owned news outlet TASS. The official added that the Kremlin would still be “ready to cooperate” with the West in the future “if they want.” (https://news.yahoo.com/russias-top-diplomat-admits-kremlin-194859423.html) Putin made the decision in February to invade Ukraine despite NATO and Western leaders holding repeated talks to avoid a war. A large number of nations, including the United States, slammed Russia with increasingly severe sanctions — sending the ruble plummeting and the Russian economy in shambles.

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