WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US administration should not exert any influence on the country’s businesses ahead of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Russia on June 16-18, Deputy Head of Economic Section of the Russian Embassy to the United States Grigory Zasypkin told Sputnik.
“The reaction was predictable. They have always said it, and continue to say that they will ignore major events, particularly the economic ones that are held in Russia. This was not a surprise,” Zasypkin said. “Business-wise, we think this is incorrect behavior, because businesses should decide for themselves, it should not be pressured.”
Zasypkin stressed that politics and economy should be kept apart.
“There are sanctions, there are some codified things [regulations]. And there is this psychological atmosphere, which does not correlate with the spirit of the American approach,” he explained. “Politics and economy should be separated. Business should do what it finds right. What is not forbidden is allowed.”
In 2014, the United States and some of their allies imposed a series of economic sanctions targeting key Russian sectors as well as a number of individuals and entities over Crimea’s reunification with Russia and its alleged interference in the conflict between Kiev and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning the Western sanctions are counterproductive and noting that Crimea’s rejoining Russia came after a popular referendum in which the vast majority of citizens democratically decided in favor of reunification.