Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Friday that Russia is ready to break off relations with the European Union (EU) if the European bloc adopts sanctions that threaten its country’s economy.
“We start from the basis that we are willing, (…) if we see again, as we have experienced on more occasions, that sanctions are imposed in areas that represent risks to our economy, including sensitive sectors,” said the head of Russian diplomacy, quoted by the agency Lusa.
Lavrov’s statements were made during an interview with the Russian program Soloviov Live, which this Friday advanced with some excerpts from the conversation.
“We don’t want to isolate ourselves from world life, but we must be prepared for that ”, underlined the Russian minister. “If you want peace, prepare for war,” he added.
Lavrov’s comments came after the controversial visit to Moscow last week by the EU’s top foreign policy representative, Josep Borrell, during which Russia expelled three European diplomats for allegedly participating in opposition demonstrations.
Borrell has not ruled out the possibility of new sanctions against Russia, this time due to the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, an issue that will be studied at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers and addressed at the summit of heads of state and government of the European bloc in March.
Most recent demonstrations in Russia it has been going on since Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested on January 17 when he returned to the country after five months of convalescence in Germany due to poisoning.
Protesters call for his release and that of others detained by Russian authorities. Several countries and organizations have already called for the immediate release of the Russian opponent.