Lavrov: ‘Groundless’ U.S. Sanctions Won’t Affect Moscow Foreign Policy

The sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States are groundless and will not affect Moscow’s foreign policy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.

“We consider that the sanctions are imposed absolutely without any grounds as for the reasons behind them… Russia’s honest, open and constructive policy cannot be changed by them,” Lavrov, fresh from a visit to New York on Thursday and Friday, said in an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant‘s online edition, according to AFP.

Lavrov made the remarks in response to the upcoming release of two reports by the U.S presidential administration, concerning backgrounds of high-ranking Russian officials and the feasibility of imposing new economic sanctions on Moscow.

The minister said that Russia’s foreign policy is based on the country’s national interests and will not submit to foreign pressure.

“The fact that our foreign policy enjoys a broad support in society is the best evidence that the attempt to change our foreign policy by putting pressure on our elites and certain companies is unpromising,” he said.

In August 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a new package of sanctions against Russia. Unlike previous sanctions bills, the new legislation grants U.S. lawmakers power to block Trump from unilaterally lifting the sanctions.

Washington’s relationship with Moscow has been sour for some time, amid disagreements involving the war in Syria, the conflict in Ukraine and the Kremlin’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, among others.

Lavrov also said the West’s “Russiaphobia” is worse now than during the Cold War and warned that Moscow has “red lines” that should be respected.

“This Russiaphobia is unprecedented. We never saw this during the Cold War,” Lavrov said.

“Back then there were some rules, some decorum… Now, all decorum has been cast aside,” he added.

Lavrov warned: “Russia has its ‘red lines’…. Serious politicians in the West understand that these ‘red lines’ should be respected as they were during the Cold War.”