Western sanctions against Russia breach international law, says Lavrov

Sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia run counter to international law and are designed to cause damage to the Russian economy, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.

Sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia run counter to international law and are designed to cause damage to the Russian economy, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.

"The situation that we see today in connection with unilateral restrictions introduced by the U.S., the European Union and some other countries certainly contradicts international legal norms, including, on a whole number of occasions, the norms of the WTO [World Trade Organization and our Western colleagues' declared conceptual approaches toward the development of international economic cooperation - respect for market principles, honest competition, etc," Lavrov said.

In the current situation, "these illegal unilateral restrictive measures are definitely affecting our economy to a certain extent," the Russian minister said.

"But it is far from being the most important thing. Key tasks aimed at overcoming today's phenomena in our economic and financial systems were formulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly, during his subsequent meetings with the government of the Russian Federation and at government sessions," Lavrov said.

When commenting on Western sanctions targeting Russia, Lavrov said that these measures are illegitimate and are intended to cause damage to the Russian economy.

"As for the political component of these sanctions, I could say that as long as coercive measures were adopted, primarily by the UN Security Council, because all the rest was illegitimate, our Western partners were among the first who called for these sanctions to target leaders who failed abide by UN states' decisions and to prevent any negative side-effect on the population," Lavrov said.

"Absolutely the opposite logic was chosen in Russia's case," he said.

"Public statements have been made that these sanctions are aimed at causing unsustainable damage to the Russian economy and making people feel how bad their life has become under this regime. It is a totally tendency-driven approach. It is impossible to hide it," Lavrov said.

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