MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin denied Moscow would be isolated internationally over the Ukraine crisis and said Russia’s economy would not be the only one to suffer from Western sanctions and falls in oil prices and the rouble.
The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Russia over its an-nexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and its backing for se-paratists in the east opposed to Kiev’s rule.
“We understand the fatality of an ‘Iron Curtain’ for us,” Putin was quoted as saying the TASS news agency in an interview published on Sunday. “We will not go down this path in any case and no one will build a wall around us. That is impossible!”
Sanctions have hit Russia’s weak economy and sparked a slide in rouble, pressure exacerbated by a sharp drop in the global price for oil, one of Russia’s main exports.
“If the price of energy is lowered on purpose, this also hits those who introduce those limits,” Putin said.
“It’s far from certain that sanc-tions, sharp falls in the oil price
(and) the depreciation of the natio-nal currency will cause negative effects or catastrophic consequen-
ces only for us. No such thing will happen!”