Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the proposed US sanctions against Russia violate international law, speaking at a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto in Savonlinna, yesterday.
“Sanctions are illegal from the point of view of international law, they violate the principle of international trade by World Trade Organization,” Putin said, adding that Russia “is very patient now, but at some point we will have to answer to this.”
Putin is on an official visit in Finland to mark the 100th anniversary of the country’s independence. Later on the day Putin and Niinisto will attend an opera production from the Bolshoi Theatre at the Olavinlinna Castle.
Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian):
“I don’t consider it as an investigation. The investigation implies getting the full consequences and studying the reasons, listening to different sides. All we see now is the increase of anti-Russian hysteria, most probably they are using Russophobia in an internal political fight, in this case the fight between President Trump and his opponents inside the United States.”
“It is a pity that Russia – Our relationships are being sacrificed for solving issues inside the US. Do I regret the worsening of relations with the US? I can answer directly. Of course, we deeply regret it.”
“When we are talking about the borders of US legislation, I should say, I have been talking about it for a long time, since 2007 in Munich, I think. That is exactly what I said. This practice is not acceptable; it destroys international relationships and international law. We have never agreed on that, and never will agree on that. And it depends on other states’ sovereignty and readiness to protect their own interests, how they react on that themselves.”
“If the same will happen in this case, it will be even more regretful, since it will be aggravated action and especially cynical, as I would say.”
“It is a clear attempt to use the geopolitical advantages in competitive fight with the goal to serve its economic interests at the expense of its partners.”
“We can see that we have been constantly provoked during the last few years. A lot of our diplomats have been expelled with no reason. Diplomatic property has been taken away, which is unthinkable as it contradicts the basic norm of international law in diplomatic relationships.”
“Sanctions are illegal from the point of view of international law, they violate the principle of international trade by World Trade Organization. As you know we are being very patient now, but at some point we will have to answer this. It is impossible to endlessly accept the rudeness directed at our country.”
“In any case, regardless of what is happening now, we will have to achieve some elements of cooperation and agreements.”