2 Nov 2017 17:45

U.S. introduces sanctions against Russian oil, gas companies on made-up pretext - Matviyenko

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 2 (Interfax) - The sanctions the United States is introducing against Russian oil and gas companies are due to business interests that have nothing to do with the situation in Ukraine, Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko said.

"Whether the situation in Ukraine is of one sort or another plays no role. These are made-up pretexts. Just as the pretext of Russian meddling was made up. A year has passed already, everyone has said that there is no evidence, no meddling. Yet, this bacchanalia still persists so as to find pretexts for new attacks, new Russophobic, anti-Russian actions. For there is nothing else - 'only business': to fight Russia, to weaken it economically," Matviyenko told journalists in St. Petersburg on Thursday.

"The situation is difficult. We see that dialogue is not possible yet, and there is no desire [for it] on that [the U.S.] side either," she said.

The purpose of U.S. measures is to oust Russia from the European market, the speaker said.

"A sophisticated trade war is being waged against Russia under made-up pretexts. The areas being targeted are sensitive. Sanctions are being imposed on spheres where Russia is very competitive. To oust Russia from the European gas and oil market, it is being sanctioned, and costly shale gas is being peddled to Europe instead. The new portion of sanctions also aims to limit our competitive advantages in the sphere of energy resources," Matviyenko said.

Anti-Russian actions often run counter to international law, she said.

"This no doubt contradicts all the international rules of world trade. This contradicts the WTO [World Trade Organization] rules to which the Unites States has also subscribed. It shows that the U.S. is an unreliable partner. They - and we are seeing it now - can enter into an agreement with a number of countries, and easily, with no explanation, pull out of it where their economic interests [lie]," Matviyenko said.