Medvedev Says Russia Will Cope With New U.S. Sanctions Amid Ruble Slide
RFE/RL April 11, 2018
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the country will cope with the latest round of U.S. sanctions, as the ruble fell for a third straight day following the imposition of the new restrictions.
"There is no doubt that we will cope with this pressure. We've learned how to do it," Medvedev said on April 11 in an annual address at the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament.
"At the end of the day, we will turn all those actions to the benefit of our own economy," he added. "But we will not forget those who keep pushing forward that anti-Russia policy."
The Russian currency was down 1.4 percent to 63.9 per dollar in Moscow trading by midday, partly recovering from an earlier loss of 2.7 percent, amid a wave of uncertainty created by the latest U.S. sanctions.
The euro neared the 80-ruble mark before falling back to 79.
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, played down the ruble's slide, describing it as "an emotional phenomenon, maybe a speculative phenomenon in part" in the wake of the sanctions announced by the U.S. Treasury Department on April 6.
"Volatility happens" but "the system has a decent safety margin," Peskov said.
Medvedev denounced unspecified people "in both America and Europe" who he said are portraying Russia as an enemy.
"They have been trying to push us out of the global politics, global economic relations. And the latest decisions by the US administration in that matter are an attempt to fight against us using an unfair competition," Medvedev said.
He also spoke about possible retaliatory steps by Moscow but offered few details, saying that the countermeasures "should be well calculated, they should not harm us, they should be adequate."
"I do not rule out that...we will have to weigh all aspects of our cooperation with the United States," Medvedev added.
The U.S. measures targeted more than two dozen tycoons, companies, officials, and political figures seen as close to President Vladimir Putin -- part of an attempt to punish Russia for what the treasury secretary called its "malign activity around the globe."
Russians targeted include well-connected tycoon Oleg Deripaska, whose companies suffered sharp losses on stock markets this week.
On April 10, Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina said that Russia's financial stability does not appear to be at risk for now and that the bank has tools with which to address the effects of the sanctions, which she suggested would not be long-lasting.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, TASS, and Interfax
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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