Russia may step up relations with Asia Pacific region in case of Western sanctions - diplomat

Russia may retarget energy exports towards the Asia Pacific region if the U.S. and the EU decide to impose economic sanctions on it, said Foreign Trade Minister Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Moscow Zhang Di.

Russia may retarget energy exports towards the Asia Pacific region if the U.S. and the EU decide to impose economic sanctions on it, said Foreign Trade Minister Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Moscow Zhang Di.

"The West is threatening Russia with sanctions but this is a shortsighted position. On what these sanctions will be imposed? On oil and gas? The West does not take into account the possibility of Russia's retargeting the flow of its energy goods towards Asia Pacific region countries, among them China," he said in an interview with Interfax.

The delivery of Russian hydrocarbons to the Asia Pacific region "will be more reliable and safer because there is no strategic conflict of interest and mutual animosity between countries of the region and Russia," he said.

"Indeed, economic sanctions and lesser imports of Russian gas may be felt in some sectors of the Russian economy. But one should not forget that Russia and China are actively cooperating in the economy and the 2008-2009 global crisis has demonstrated that Russia-China economic interaction has large potential," the diplomat told Interfax.

"Sanctions are a two-edge sword, and one has to reckon with it," Zhang Di stressed.

"China consistently opposes the policy of sanctions and pressure. We think that all problems occurring between countries in the contemporary world should be resolved through dialogue and consultations," he noted.

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