Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would impose retaliatory sanctions on the West only if they could serve for the benefit of domestic producers. Russia will not respond just to snarl, he said. The government is working on the issue, the president added.
"If the government concludes that certain steps will correspond to the interests of our economy, then we will do it. Just show our toughness, to snarl and suffer damage from that - we will not do it," Putin said.
As for specific measures, they are not yet developed. "What kind of responsive steps there could be, and whether they could be at all - let the government think about it and make suggestions," said the president.
"The sanctions policy always causes certain harm, including to those, who use this tool. This is not an exception when it is being done against Russia. We are familiar with the figures of losses that European and American businesses incur as a result of Russia's response. But, as we say in such cases, this is not our choice."
Commenting on the sanctions that were imposed on Russia today, September 12, Putin said that they "look weird."
At the end of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Dushanbe, Putin told reporters that he considered "strange" the decision of the West to impose sanctions on Russia at a time, when the peace process in Ukraine began. According to Putin, there are some people, who did not like the fact that the peace process in Ukraine started.
"The peace process began, and, in my opinion, a possibility appeared in this process to achieve regulation through political means, at least temporarily," said the president.
"I do not even understand, what these sanctions are related to. Maybe, someone does not like the fact that the peace process has begun," he suggested.
Putin also stressed out that the move to include the prime minister of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk on the list of sanctions was devoid of any logic. Putin reminded that Alexander Zakharchenko was taking part in peace talks.
"Our Western partners and Ukrainian partners insisted that top officials of the self-proclaimed republics should participate in the peace talks. They asked us about it, and we tried to take effort to make it happen. But then they put him on the sanctions list. Is this another attempt to derail the peace process or what? What is this? There is absolutely no logic here, Putin said.