MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Sanctions against Russia cannot solve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, they only lead to its escalation, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Hong Lei was quoted as saying by China News.
Answering a journalist's question on the possible introduction of Japan's new sanctions against Moscow, Hong Lei said that China believes that the introduction of restrictions does not contribute to the settlement of the issue and just make the situation worse.
Speaking on the same issue on Wednesday, Hong Lei said that the Ukrainian conflict "can only be resolved through political means," adding that China hopes that all parties "can increase communication and make joint efforts for the political settlement of the Ukrainian issue."
Hong Lei also stated that the China-Russia strategic partnership "will be upheld by China no matter how the international landscape changes."
Earlier on Thursday, Kyodo news agency reported that the Japanese government will announce additional sanctions against Russia over Ukraine on September 19. New restrictions are expected to target the Russian financial and energy sectors. The list of individuals banned from entering the country may also be expanded.
Relations between Russia and the West have significantly deteriorated since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, as western politicians and media keep on accusing Russia of providing aid to the independence supporters of eastern Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly denied these claims, calling the West's sanctions "counterproductive."
As the Ukrainian crisis escalated, the United States pressed for its allies to follow its lead and impose economic sanctions against Moscow. On August 5, Japan unveiled a list of 40 sanctioned individuals and two Crimean companies while also banning imports of Crimean goods.