MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - The main task for Russia in the coming years is to establish cooperation with the Asian region, but the country does not intend to abandon the tradition of looking toward both the West and the East, Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Facebook webpage.
"The main task for the coming years is to give a new life to our promising territories, to establish cooperation with the Asian region and radically rethink the scope for economic development. Russia has always looked towards both the West and the East, and we will not abandon this tradition," Medvedev wrote.
He also noted that Western sanctions are not the worst thing, as Russia can cope with that.
Russian relations with the West have deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine. The European Union and the United States have been imposing sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the crisis, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.
The latest round of sanctions against Russia was introduced on September 12, targeting the country's largest banks, oil and defense companies, as well as certain individuals. The companies were denied access to the European capital markets, while a number of individuals are subject to entry bans and asset freezes.
Russia retaliated with a one-year food ban that targets a range of foodstuffs from the countries that implemented sanctions against Russia, with Australia, Poland and Latvia having already voiced concerns about potential losses.
Moscow has also prepared, but not yet implemented, a new package of response measures, which may affect machine-building, the petrochemical and automotive sectors, as well as impose restrictions on imports of used cars and textiles. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that Moscow may introduce these measures only to protect Russia's interests.