Imposing sanctions on Russia and blaming it for destabilizing Ukraine contradicts US national interests, President Putin said at the BRICS summit in Brazil, emphasizing that declared support of Ukrainians should not be limited to the country’s oligarchs.
Speaking to the press following the BRICS summit in Brazil, Vladimir Putin was asked to comment on the new package of sanctions against Russia announced just minutes earlier by the US President.
“We aren’t the ones introducing sanctions, you should ask them,” Putin said.
“But as for sanctions, they usually have a boomerang effect, and without a doubt will force US-Russian relations into a corner,” he elaborated. “This is a serious blow to our relationship. And it undermines the long term security interests of the US State and its people.”
Putin said that it is “regrettable” that “our partners” have chosen to impose new sanctions, but Russia “will not close doors to negotiations.”
“We're open to finding ways out of this situation,” Putin said. “I really hope that common sense and the willingness to resolve all issues through peaceful diplomatic means will prevail.”
“The measures taken by the US administration towards Russia, in my view, contradict the national interests of the United States,” Putin said. “This means that, for example, large companies wanting to work in Russia after facing certain restrictions will lose their competitiveness compared with other global energy companies.”
“We gave an opportunity for the largest US company to work in the [Arctic] shelf. So what, the States does not want it to work there?” Putin wondered. “They are hurting their biggest energy companies. And for what? In order to, after making one mistake, insist on making another?”
“This is, at very least, an unprofessional approach. Sooner or later, such methods of solving international problems will have to change, but the damages will have to be written-off as losses for those doing it.”
During the Q&A session Putin once again reiterated that it was in Russia's interest to see the end of the conflict in Ukraine and to see that Ukraine pursues economic assistance, including that of the International Monitory Fund (IMF). But at the same time, the Russian president questioned, how the allocated funds including those of Russia were being used.
“The IMF works in the following way – it does not normally assist countries during a war,” which Putin thinks is the “right” prerequisite for economic assistance, because money is supposed to be used to support the social sector of the economy.
“But they [funds] are channeled for the military campaign, they are embezzled, half stolen, under the disguise of helping the social sector,” Putin said. “So after the first tranche was issued, this is what is happening.”
The aid, Putin said, was “supposed to be helping the banking sector of the country. As far as I know, the bulk of these funds was channeled to the private banks of Ukrainian oligarchs. Where is this money? Where did it end up?” Putin asked.
He says that the IMF and the Ukrainian public, as well as citizens of those states that support Kiev have the right to know some funds have allegedly been misappropriated.
Putin also stressed that Ukraine has not used the first tranche of the IMF funds to repay the gas debt.
“What we're seeing today [in Ukraine] is the same thing that happened to the $3 billion loan that Ukraine received from Russia,” Putin said. “It is not just the oligarchs and the swindlers that should be supported, but the ordinary people,” as he stressed that control mechanisms must be implemented in Ukraine that will deal with fund allocation.
Failure to recognize state institutions, constitution and international law, Putin said commenting on Ukraine, “leads to internal conflict,” hinting the US policy towards Ukraine and unconditional support of Kiev authorities leads to more bloodshed.
“Those who force countries to such scenarios should never forget that the blood of the regular army soldiers, of the resistance soldiers, of civilians will be on their hands,” Putin said. “And the tears of mothers, widows, orphans belong to them. And they have no right to shift the responsibility," as he urged all parties in Ukraine to sit at the negotiating table.