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    Attempts to Put Pressure on Putin to Change His Stance Futile - Kremlin

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    According to the Kremlin's spokesperson, attempts to force Russian President Putin change his stance are useless.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Any attempts to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin in hopes to change his position are futile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti on Monday.

    US State Secretary John Kerry said at a news conference earlier on Monday that sanctions were having a significant effect on the Russian economy but they were not enough yet to change Putin's stance on Ukrainian crisis.

    "We have repeatedly stated on various levels that attempts to put pressure on Putin or force him to change his position are absolutely futile," Peskov told RIA Novosti.

    The United States, the European Union and their allies have introduced several rounds of sanctions targeting Russia’s defense, energy and finance sectors citing Moscow’s alleged role in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow denied the accusations and responded with a year-long embargo on food products from the countries that imposed anti-Russia sanctions.

    Last week, Kerry said that the United States could step up restrictive measures against Russia over violation of the Ukrainian truce. The statement came despite apparent withdrawal of heavy weaponry and a prisoner swap in eastern Ukraine.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday that Moscow reserved the right to respond to Western sanctions in any way it sees fit. The diplomat stressed that Russia could not stay "apathetic" amid off-handed attempts to influence its policy.

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    Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin, Russia
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