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Russia should not cede under threat of sanctions, MPs say

Russia should not make concessions in the Ukrainian crisis under the threat of sanctions from the US and Europe, the first deputy head of the State Duma committee for international affairs, Leonid Kalashnikov, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"If we make major concessions under pressure, this will be taken negatively not only in the country, but also in the world. The damage from that will be catastrophic," he said. The parliamentarian said Russia had not attacked anyone and was not going to wage a war against Ukraine. He said "nothing would change in particular" even if relations between Russia and the US sharply deteriorated. "There is nothing fatal about it," he said.

"Russia has always been self-reliant, even after WWII. This is the way Russia is -- we are a self-sufficient state," he added. "Of course, America dominates in the world. But the principles are not to be bargained, all the more the lives of fellow Russians," Kalashnikov said.

The head of the Duma committee for culture, Stanislav Govorukhin, said for his part that "everything in the world is intertwined," explaining that Russia "has less possibilities, but has counter measures, and all who are brandishing their arms and these sanctions must understand this clearly".

"We are used to sanctions," Govorukhin said. "Cuba, for example, has been under sanctions for 55 years, and is still Cuba. They lived in poverty, starved, but survived. Belarus has been seeing different kind of sanctions for 25 years, so what -- they live better than we do, by the way. So we will also withstand," he summed up.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 04Mar14]

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