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    Russia Rules Out Punitive Action as Response to Western Sanctions

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    Russia has no plans to take punitive measures against its partners in response to Western sanctions, President Vladimir Putin's top economic aide said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has no plans to take punitive measures against its partners in response to Western sanctions, President Vladimir Putin's top economic aide said Wednesday.

    “We have action plans for various types of sanctions… We are not going to punish our partners or clamp down on them, at least, I’m unaware of such plans,” Andrei Belousov said.

    Earlier in the day, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that protectionism is hidden behind sanctions against Russia in the interests of certain companies. At the same time, Moscow received “clear signals” from US and European companies about their intention to continue work in Russia, Medvedev added.

    This year, the United Stated and the European Union imposed targeted sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies accusing Moscow of meddling with Ukraine’s internal affairs.

    After the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash, which the West blames on eastern Ukraine independence supporters, the United States has been pushing the EU to implement further sanctions against Moscow.

    On Tuesday, the European Commission agreed to introduce a new package of sanctions targeting Russia’s financial and defense sectors on July 24. Russia’s envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov after attending the European foreign ministers meeting called the sanctions “a road to nowhere.”

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