In December 2014, US President Barack Obama said that Western sanctions were aimed at making Russia's economy suffer "enormous difficulties" in case of "price shocks."
“President Obama admitted that his energy strategy enabled to destabilize [situation] in oil-producing countries, particularly in Russia, Iran and Venezuela, which we are classifying as a real economic war,” Faria said.
On Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Obama of attempting to topple the country's government, after Washington announced sanctions against a number of Venezuelan officials it suspects of human rights violations.
The United States, the European Union and a number of their allies imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia, targeting its defense, energy and banking sectors. The West has blamed Moscow for alleged interference in the Ukraine conflict, claims which Russia has repeatedly denied.
The economies of Iran, Russia and Venezuela, all heavily dependent on energy exports, have faced significant declines due to falling oil prices. Oil has plummeted some 50 percent since mid-2014 amid oversupply on the market.
Russia is currently experiencing an economic slowdown, as the ruble has lost about half its value against the dollar since last summer. Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference in December 2014 that Western sanctions were responsible for nearly a quarter of the negative impact on the Russian economy.