Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine violate the international law and destabilize the global economy, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya told a briefing in Havana on Thursday.
"The policy of West’s sanctions is not only a blow to Russia, but is also a major source of destabilization of global economy," the diplomat said after two-day consultations between the foreign ministries of Russia and Cuba.
"It is difficult to imagine a less suitable moment for sending a signal to the global business community that certain political forces can unilaterally change multi-lateral rules of the game, undermine the atmosphere of stability in international relations and cause damage to the existing business ties," Nebenzya said.
"Russia had to take countermeasures against certain export articles of countries that had imposed sanctions against us," he explained. "The irony is that now we can hear voices from these countries saying that it turns out Russia is violating basic rules and norms of the World Trade Organization," he said.
The deputy foreign minister said Russia was diversifying international ties, looking also to Latin America, but noted that Moscow "is not going to do this at the expense of cooperation with Europe". The development of ties with other states "comes in addition to traditional cooperation with European countries, with Europe that remains the main trade and economic partner of Russia," he said.
Nebenzya led a delegation to Havana for consultations on bilateral and multilateral cooperation. He said the two countries shared a common interest in seeing "a just and polycentric world order, based on equality, adherence to international law and respect for it with the central role of the United Nations".