Russia tells West to end threats

Moscow, March 5: A top Russian legislator Wednesday urged the West to stop threatening sanctions against Moscow, as the potential isolation could be mutually counter-productive.

“Threats and language of sanctions towards Russia are absolutely counter-productive. It is impossible to imagine how sanctions could isolate Russia from the global economic process,” Xinhua quoted Valentina Matvienko, chairperson of the Federation Council or the upper house of the Russian parliament, as telling reporters.

She also said that the Russian economy was deeply integrated into the global economy and trade between Russia and the West was mutually beneficial.

Noting that 40 percent of Russia’s imports came from the European Union (EU), and 50 percent of its exports went to the EU, Matvienko said it was hard to imagine how these trade flows could be stopped.

She said any reasonable politician must understand the Russian and Ukrainian economies are intertwined and hence Moscow cannot be detached from Ukrainian affairs.

“If a radical and neo-fascist plug in Ukraine is not stopped now, other countries will soon experience the overthrow of their authorities too,” Matvienko said.

“It is time to stop speaking to Russia with the language of ultimatums. Only through political dialogue can it be possible to work out a positive agenda for Moscow and the West,” she added.