Russia to respond to Western sanctions 'based on country's own interests'

Kremlin spokesman Peskov says Russia's economic reality significantly changed after West imposed unprecedented economic sanctions.

Russia to respond to Western sanctions 'based on country's own interests'

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday Russia will respond to the Western sanctions "based on its own interests."

Speaking at a daily press briefing, Peskov said "the economic reality has significantly changed" for Russia after the West imposed unprecedented economic restrictions.

According to the spokesman, the Russian authorities have been preparing for sanctions, including the most severe, which Russia is facing at the moment.

Peskov added that President Vladimir Putin was briefed about the risks of economic restrictions, and on Monday he will have a meeting where he will be updated on the current challenges.

The spokesman also claimed that Russia has the "required potential" to compensate the damage made by the sanctions.

As for the personal sanctions against Putin, Peskov called them "absurd," because the Russian president does not have any assets or property abroad.

Turning to the Russian-Ukrainian peace talks, Peskov refused to voice Russia's position, stressing that the negotiations must be held "in silence."

He then slammed the Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, describing them "as incredibly destabilizing factor."

"The supply of weapons, armaments, ammunition to the territory of Ukraine can and will become an extremely dangerous and destabilizing factor, which in any case will in no way contribute to stability in Ukraine or the restoration of order. And in the long run it can have much more dangerous consequences," he said.

He added that arms deliveries "confirm the rightness of Russia in the measures that are being taken to demilitarize Ukraine," and called the EU "an association that takes an unfriendly position" towards Russia and "takes unfriendly measure of a hostile nature."

As for Putin's order to put the nuclear forces on high alert, Peskov said it does not mean Russia plans a nuclear attack against anyone.

In this connection he slammed as "unacceptable" remarks by British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss about a possible collision between Russia and NATO.

"The statements were made by different representatives, at different levels, about possible conflict situations, and even collisions, clashes between NATO and the Russian Federation, we consider this absolutely unacceptable, I will not name the authors of these statements, although it was the British foreign minister," he said.

Since last Thursday -- days after Russian recognition of two separatist-held enclaves in eastern Ukraine -- Russia's war on Ukraine has been met by an outcry from the international community, with the EU, UK, and US implementing a range of economic sanctions against Russia.

Russia has been further isolated after its planes have been barred from flying in European and Canadian airspace, and a number of its banks have been kicked out of the SWIFT international banking system.