Dmitry Medvedev tells RT that Western sanctions, targeting commercial banks and foreign currency transactions, leave Moscow no other choice
Russia had no choice but to switch to its national currency, the Russian rouble, in its energy trade with Western nations after sanctions were imposed on the country, the former head of the country explained on Thursday. Russian state to journalists from RT and Ria Novosti.
Dmitry Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012 and is currently deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, argued that President Vladimir Putin’s decision on Wednesday to switch to rubles in his energy trade with buyers Westerners makes perfect sense, with Moscow having no other choice under the circumstances.
“They closed the correspondent accounts of our commercial banks, made it impossible to settle in dollars and euros and disconnected the banks on the sanctions list from SWIFT, at least some of them. What did they think we were going to do?asked the Russian politician rhetorically.
Addressing plans to phase out Russian energy expressed by some European countries, Medvedev noted that in the short term, such a scenario was unlikely, as it would have a devastating effect on Europe itself. The official claimed that the United States, which was much less dependent on Russian energy supplies in the first place, was already feeling the brunt after its decision to stop buying Russian oil. According to Medvedev, rising prices at the gas pump in America, along with fuel prices »at an all-time high right now,will damage Joe Biden’s approval ratings.
Still, Moscow has no illusions that sooner or later Western countries will turn to other energy sources, Medvedev noted, where Russia is “certainly looking at Asian markets in the current environment” and “find ways to diversify our supplies.The former president concluded that as long as European money is flowing, Russia will continue to use this source of revenue.
The West has shown a profound lack of understanding of the Russian mentality when imposing sectoral sanctions. “They are also trying to influence the sectors of the economy that are behind this big business. And these are hundreds of thousands, millions of our people,“, explained the Russian official.
Medvedev claimed that even those who disagreed with the government on certain issues would support it in the face of outside pressure. “They don’t understand the incentives that when such pressure is applied (and this pressure is not on big entrepreneurs, not on big companies, it’s pressure on everyone), society is consolidated.”
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