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    Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers the annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

    Putin Says Anti-Russia Sanctions US Reaction to Russia's Growing Influence

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    Putin's Address to Federal Assembly 2014 (24)
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    The United States would have invented another way to curb the growing influence of Russia, if the Crimean reunification with Russia and sanctions had not emerged, President Putin said.

    MOSCOW, December 4 (Sputnik) — Western sanctions are aimed at curbing Russia's growing influence in the world and are not in fact related to the crisis in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual address to the Federal Assembly Thursday.

    "As for sanctions, this is not just a nervous reaction of the United States and its allies to our stance on the developments in Ukraine and on the coup [there]. Nor was it triggered by the so-called Crimean Spring. I am sure, and I want to emphasize it, that even without all these developments, they would have invented another way to curb the growing influence of Russia" Putin said.

    Relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated amid the Ukrainian crisis. Following Crimea's reunification with Russia in March, the United States, the European Union and their allies that deemed the measure as illegal started implementing a series of sanctions against Russia.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers the annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly
    © Sputnik / Michael Klimentyev
    In a speech following the referendum Putin stressed that it was held in full compliance with democratic procedures and international laws.

    The West's restrictions target Russia's banking, oil and defense sectors and ban the provision of technical and other assistance to Russian companies in the field of oil exploration and production. Western sanctions also targeted certain individuals.

    Among other accusations that the West has leveled at Russia while imposing restrictive measures are lending military support to independence forces in the Ukrainian east, sending troops and escalating the tensions in the crisis-hit country. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations.

    Sanctions, Foreign Limitations Provide Huge Incentives for Russia's Development

    Western sanctions imposed against Russia are a driver for the country's efficient development, Russia's President Vladimir Putin said during his annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly Thursday.

    "The so-called sanctions and external constraints constitute an incentive for more efficient, fast achievement of our goals. We have much to do to create new technologies and competitive products," Putin said.

    "We are in possession of a large domestic market and natural resources, capital and scientific basis. There are talented, intelligent, hard-working people who can quickly learn new things. The main thing now is to give the citizens an opportunity to fulfill their potential," the president said.

    In August, Moscow responded to the measures by implementing a one-year ban on certain food imports from the countries that imposed anti-Russia sanctions.

    Western sanctions have given Russian companies and industries a reason to work on import substitution in almost all economic sectors.

    Putin's Address to Federal Assembly 2014 (24)


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