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Russia has no plans to punish West with retaliatory sanctions -- Putin

Russia will not pressure the West with sanctions but will pursue its own interests, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

The introduction of protective measures is not caused by the striving to punish our partners, Putin said. "First of all, we are thinking about our own interests and development goals," he added.

Putin believes that the Western countries that adopted sanctions against Russia in fact defied the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"The sanctions imposed on Russia are nothing but a departure from the basic WTO principles by some of our partners," Putin said at a meeting of the State Council on Thursday. "They violate the principle of all countries' equal access to the markets of goods and services. They ignore the most favored nation status in trade and the principle of fair and free competition."

"All this is being done in a politicized way, without any observance of WTO rules," he said. "In fact, a group of Western countries has unilaterally taken the liberty of 'deleting' these and some other WTO principles for Russia, which is on the list of the world's six largest economies," the president noted.

New economic policy for Russia

Russia will work out an economic policy with the focus on developing the real sector, Putin said, noting that a solid domestic market will become the main resource.

"Our main goal is to use one of important Russian competitive advantages -- a sizable domestic market: fill it with competitive, qualitative goods which will be produced in real sector of domestic economy, certainly preserving stability and balanced nature of home market and economy in general," he said.

"Actually, this is development of such economic policy when all efforts by federal and regional authorities should be reoriented at developing the real sector," Putin noted.

The president noted that Russia would try to 'punish' the West with retaliatory sanctions. "Protective measures are exactly protective measures caused not by an intention to punish someone of partners and influence them," he said. "The God is a judge to them, this is their decision," Putin said in comments on the Western decision to impose sanctions on Russia. "First of all, we think about our interests and tasks of development," the president noted.

Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) confirmed that Moscow builds an open economy and is ready for closest co-operation with foreign partners. "This is obvious that Russia's entry to this trade organisation in 2012 has made requirements to domestic competitiveness much higher," he said. Russia did not only receive the possibility to protect interests of their companies more effectively, but also assumed liabilities to reduce tariff shelter and limit support to key sectors of domestic economy.

The president noted that Russia had taken WTO entry talks quite responsibly. "We have achieved such decisions and formula which met our interests and have attained acceptable conditions," he noted.

Meanwhile, several Western countries decided to overstep the WTO principles imposing sanctions on Russia. "Restrictions introduced against Russia are nothing but denial of WTO basic principles by several our partners," Putin said. "The principle of equal conditions of access of all countries to markets of commodities and services was violated, most-favoured-nation clause and the principle of fair and free competition was ignored," the president said.

"All this is done in politicised way without any observance of WTO rules," he said. "In fact, a group of Western countries allowed themselves unilaterally to 'cross out' these and several other WTO principles and rules for Russia which is among six largest economies in the world," Putin added.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 18Sep14]

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