MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday any new sanctions from the European Union or the United States would force Russia to protect its economy, citizens and businesses.
In the case of new sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, he said, “we will first of all start from our own interests - protect our economy, protect our social sphere, protect our businesses and at the same time draw conclusions from the actions of our partners”.
Lavrov played down Russia’s exclusion from the Group of Eight over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, saying the forum had lost much of its significance since the formation of the wider G20.
He said there would be no military intervention from Russia in Ukraine. Moscow denies the presence of Russian tanks and troops there, despite what NATO and Western governments have said is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Reporting by Thomas Grove; Editing by Mark Trevelyan