Anti-Russian sanctions to hurt Russia's allies in Asia-Pacific region - Russian deputy FM
MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) - The anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the West will also hurt Russia's allies in the Asia-Pacific region, but Moscow counts on its Eurasian partners' solidarity, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin said.
"Of course, the sanctions imposed on Russia will not just ricochet off our allies, our closest economic and trade partners across the Eurasian space, but will probably hit them with a sledgehammer. The subject of sanctions and their neutralization has been present on our Eurasian agenda for a long time," Pankin said in an interview published in the Izvestia newspaper on Friday.
Russia and its Eurasian partners "are very firmly tied to each other," he said.
"We have a whole range of strategic cooperation avenues, which deal with all key areas of economic life - energy security, food security, measures in the field of digitalization and transport links. In other words, we are very closely tied to each other, but we are not tied to each other against our will. It is economic expediency," he said.
"The turn toward Eurasia was inevitable," Pankin said, adding that by Eurasia, Moscow means not only the members of the Eurasian Economic Union, "but also the broader space around us, i.e. the Asia-Pacific region."
"We count on our Eurasian partners' solidarity and hope that we will be able to withstand these difficult times. There are a lot of instruments which, as we warned, needed to be introduced, and they were used - settlements in national currencies, the possibility of inviting our regional development banks to finance [projects]," he said.
"Of course, it is important to understand that everything will be done to drive a wedge between our Eurasian partners and us. It is even not being concealed, it is happening as part of the policy to completely isolate Russia. But we hope the integrity of our interests and the unavoidability of our joint development will prevail in sentiments," Pankin said.