INTERVIEW: Russia focuses on imports substitution in sanction response
MOSCOW, Mar 27 (PRIME) -- Russia puts emphasis on imports substitution and withdrawal from the U.S. dollar in its response to the Western sanctions, Dmitry Birichevsky, director of the Foreign Ministry’s economic cooperation department, told PRIME in an interview published on Monday.
“Russia reacts to the Western sanctions in a calibrated and appropriate way by using the principles of not inflicting damage on ourselves and measuring twice before cutting once. In our retaliation, we focus on protection of our people and the national business as well as on supporting stability of the national economy and its financial system. We put emphasis on withdrawal from the U.S. dollar, imports substitution, and strengthening technological sovereignty,” he said.
The country continues adaptation to the external challenges and intensifies its programs for development of promising and competitive industries, he said.
He said that Nord Stream pipelines’ fate was unclear. Fixing them is possible, but political and economic prerequisites are necessary for that, and the fact that the West denies access to the investigation for Russia shows the lack of interest in normal relations, he said.
The West’s attempts to create problems for Russia’s export of diamonds could disrupt global production and supply chains and hurt the industry.
“It is obvious that the restriction measures that they are developing, whatever they may be, could disrupt the existing production and supply chains, which goes against the interests of the diamond industry in general. In this regard, the West is trying to create a plausible excuse for their irresponsible actions,” Birichevsky said.
Russia is one of the largest members of the global diamond industry with 30% of the combined diamond production. Its companies are responsible and reliable market players. Moscow consistently counteracts the attempts to deform the bases and principles of the formats that create the international diamond market, he said.
Russia has no plans to leave the World Trade Organization (WTO) in spite of the West’s attempts to squeeze it out.
“This is no secret that the unfriendly countries and alliances are trying to squeeze us out of the WTO. In this regard, our rejection of the membership in the organization will be seen by the West as the proof of efficiency of their anti-Russian line, which they would use to toughen their anti-Russian course further,” he said.
The WTO has no alternatives, and Russia uses it to build trade and economic relations with the countries that don’t take any unfriendly actions. The WTO rules are also the basis of the Eurasian Economic Union, he said.
The National Settlement Depository and Russian brokerage companies are doing their best to unblock the assets of non-sanctioned Russian investors in the Euroclear and Clearstream depositories.
“As far as we know, the terms for consideration of documents for unblocking assets in Euroclear and Clearstream were prolonged until July 24, 2023 in the framework of the 10th E.U. sanction package. The next step is to get licenses for unblocking assets from the finance ministries of Belgium and Luxembourg. It is obvious that it will be a lengthy process. We assume that the National Settlement Depository and Russian brokerage companies are doing everything they can to solve the problem,” Birichevsky said.
He also said that Russia and China understood the importance of financial cooperation against the background of the West’s wish to curb their independence in this sector.