Updated 6:58 p.m. Moscow Time
DUSHANBE, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that new sanctions imposed by the West against the country are more positive than negative.
“There are certain negative things but if we look at the problem as a whole then there is more positive about the sanctions than negative,” Putin told journalists Friday.
The president stressed that it is not Moscow’s choice but if someone does not want to work with Russia, then there will always be other alternatives.
Earlier in the day, a new round of EU sanctions, targeting Russia’s finance, energy and defense sectors, came into force. The European Union restricted three major Russian oil companies (Rosneft, Transneft, Gazprom Neft) and three major defense companies (Oboronprom, United Aircraft Corporation and Uralvagonzavod) from seeking finance on European capital markets.
Brussels also added 24 individuals, including senior Russian lawmakers and the leadership of the Donetsk People's Republic, to the list of individuals facing EU travel bans and asset freezes. This brings the total number of individuals subject to sanctions to 119. A total of 23 entities remain under an asset freeze in the European Union.
The EU said the list of sanctions could be reviewed and they could be revoked if the situation in Ukraine improves.
Washington joined the EU initiative by tightening its sanctions on Russian companies, including the nation's largest bank, Sberbank.
The European Union and the United States have ratcheted up sanctions on Russia accusing it of supporting militia in eastern Ukraine, the claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Moscow regrets the European Union's decision to impose new sanctions against Russia, stressing that Brussels is failing to see the reality of the situation in eastern Ukraine and the steps both sides are taking toward peace.
The Kremlin official referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s peace plan, which he proposed to the conflicting sides two days before Kiev and the eastern regions of Ukraine reached a ceasefire agreement on September 5 in Minsk.