Putin calls U.S. sanctions policy "blackmail"

"The West will rid itself of the ambitions and desire to put 'world barracks" in place, to line all up by ranks and to force uniform rules of conduct and living on society," Putin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) delivers a speech as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov listens during a meeting with Russian ambassadors, envoys and diplomats at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, July 1, 2014. Source: Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev

The sanctions introduced against Russia are an instance of blackmail and a manifestation of unilateral policy, President Vladimir Putin told ambassadors and permanent envoys on Tuesday.

"We have been saying all along that sanctions are applied in compliance with Article 7 of the UN Charter. Or they are not sanctions in terms of international law, but something else, a sort of an instrument of unilateral policy," Putin told ambassadors and permanent envoys on Tuesday.

"What else can it be, if not blackmail?" he said while speaking about proposed sanctions against French banks involved in the deal to sell warships of the Mistral class.

Putin assailed the U.S. administration's position on this major military deal. "What has been done to French banks arouses inner indignation - in Europe as a whole, and in this country, as well, I think," the Russian president said.

"We are aware of the pressure our American partners are putting on France in order to derail Mistral ship deliveries to Russia. We also know they made it understood that if Mistral ships are not delivered to us, sanctions will be lifted from the banks step-by-step, or, at least, will be minimized," Putin said.

"I hope pragmatism will triumph after all. The West will rid itself of the ambitions and desire to put 'world barracks" in place, to line all up by ranks and to force uniform rules of conduct and living on society," Putin said.

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