Moscow/Berlin (dpa) – Russia on Monday warned the West against imposing fresh sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, saying “threats and blackmail” would be of no avail.
“Renewing threats and economic pressure against Russia is an absolutely destructive, unjustified and short-sighted strategy,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Russian news agencies.
European politicians have called for fresh sanctions over the weekend against Moscow after an artillery attack, purportedly carried out by pro-Russian separatists, killed 30 people in the government-controlled eastern city of Mariupol.
The separatists denied responsibility for the attack despite earlier claims that they would “liberate” the city from Ukrainian control.
Peskov did not mention the Mariupol attack.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested Ukraine was to blame by comparing the attack to the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July. “That tragedy was used to pull through more sanctions,” he said, adding that it had become “chronic” for Western governments to blame the separatists and Russia.