Putin hopes ‘common sense’ will prevail over sanctions threat

The remarks came a day after European Union leaders gave Russia a week to reverse course in Ukraine or face a new round of sanctions.

By: Press Trust of India | Moscow | Published:September 1, 2014 5:19 pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking to the media after his talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (Source: AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking to the media after his talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (Source: AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the EU on Monday to show “common sense” and not to engage in mutually destructive sanctions, in his first reaction to the threat of additional punitive measures over Ukraine.

“I hope that common sense will prevail, … that we will work together normally and that we and our partners will not cause harm by poking at one another,” Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies during a visit to the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk.

The remarks came a day after European Union leaders gave Russia a week to reverse course in Ukraine or face a new round of sanctions. Fears are growing that the confrontation could engulf the whole continent after Russia allegedly sent troops to back a new offensive by pro-Kremlin rebels in southeastern Ukraine.

Russian officials have said previously that they were preparing countermeasures in case of new Western sanctions, after having last month banned most EU and US food imports. But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier on Monday said that Russia would not “slam the door shut” on Western trade nor exit from the World Trade Organisation.

“We will, above all, proceed from our own interests, defend our economy, defend our social system, defend our businesses…” Lavrov told Moscow university students. Sanctions threats and reports of Russian tanks being involved in fighting outside of Lugansk sent the ruble to a new record low of 37.4527 in late morning trading.

It also sank to a five-month low of 49.1795 to the euro. Russian stocks were also lower in early afternoon trading, with the ruble-denominated MICEX index shedding 0.33 per cent and the dollar-denominated RTS slumping 1.30 per cent after sharper falls on Friday.

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  1. E
    Ed McConnell
    Sep 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm
    I don't think Putin can be trusted, he lives in a world where he is always looking over his shoulder!
    Reply
    1. R
      RK Handa
      Sep 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm
      Leading countries of the world like USA,Russia and European countries are expected to play cool and not add to the tension in already surcharged global atmosphere.EU's threat to Russia to impose more sanctions on it if it does not reverse its action against Ukraine.EU might have its own reasons to blame Russia for the present crisis , but a threat coming from a large group of European countries consuting 25 plus countries does not display any wisdom on the part of a responsible global organisation like EU. Besides,threat of imposing sanctions, which of course would be economical or trade related goes against the very spirit of EU..One of the main principles of founding of EU was to set up a single common market of European countries which will work in the interest of its member countries and shall also take collective steps to develop trade with non-European countries.It is not necessary that any anti- Russian step taken by it shall have the support of all the member countries of European Union. Already,this group is riddled with difficulties.Turkey and Greece have been its headaches for quite some time.At one stage,even UK had also come into disagreement with some of its policies.On issue of admitting new countries in the Union,member countries have been differing with each other.Euro has been fluctuating for quite some time the cirstances any rash action taken by it shall further weaken this world body.If EU wants to play any role in diffusing Russia-Ukraine conflict, it should not take sides and adopt hostile postures.It can play a productive role and come out with a solid,positive solution acceptable to both the parties.
      Reply