World Bulletin / News Desk
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday new Western sanctions against Russia were intended to disrupt peace efforts in eastern Ukraine and that Moscow was considering retaliatory measures.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation security bloc, Putin said the sanctions looked "a bit strange" in view of the peace drive including a ceasefire.
"When the situation is moving towards a peaceful resolution, steps are taken which are aimed at disrupting of the peace process," said Putin in Dushanbe, capital of the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan in Central Asia.
"We've long been convinced that sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy are inefficient and practically never bring about their desired result - even in relation to small countries. Of course a policy of sanctions inflicts certain damage, including to those who use them."
The European Union and the United States have tightened sanctions on Russia because of its role in the conflict in Ukraine, where Ukrainian forces face a rebellion by pro-Russian separatists in eastern regions.
NATO says it has overwhelming evidence that Russia has sent soldiers and arms to support the rebels, a charge which Moscow denies. Russia accuses the United States of fomenting the protests that ousted a president sympathetic to Russia and of using events in Ukraine to "contain" Russia.Last Mod: 12 Eylül 2014, 17:45