Moscow does not plan to leave the World Trade Organization (WTO) in retaliation to new Western sanctions, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. Speaking with students in Moscow on Monday, he said the sanctions would force Russia to protect its economy, social area, citizens and businesses. At the same time, Moscow will use WTO’s instruments to overcome the EU’s “discriminatory policies towards antidumping procedures,” ITAR-TASS said. The WTO’s mechanisms could be also applied against using norms of the EU’s third energy package retrospectively, he said.
President Vladimir Putin on Monday accused Ukrainian authorities of unwillingness to start a substantive political dialogue with self-defense forces in the country’s east. Answering a BBC correspondent’s question in Yakutsk, Putin also said that the aim of self-defense forces is to move Ukrainian armed forces and their artillery from big cities in eastern Ukraine. The Kiev military has surrounded big cities and is shelling residential neighborhoods by direct fire, the president said, adding that self-defense forces had to step-up their activities because of it.