MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia has always lived under sanctions, they were introduced when other states felt competition, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his annual "Direct Line" session.
"When our partners around the world have been seeing Russia as a serious competitor, then some sort of restrictions were imposed under different pretext. This has been happening throughout our history, I am not even talking about the Soviet times, but it happened even before. There is nothing surprising in it," Putin said.
The relations between Russia and the West shattered after Crimea rejoined Russia as a result of a referendum in 2014, which had not been recognized by the EU's member states. The European Union, as well as the United States and their allies, introduced a number of sanctions against Russia. Moscow, in turn, put in place a food embargo on products originating in the countries which had targeted Russia with sanctions.