MOSCOW – Economic sanctions that the United States applied on Moscow seek to weaken Russia’s position in the energy and arms markets, the Russian foreign minister denounced on Monday.
Speaking at his annual press conference that marks the start of a new year, Sergey Lavrov said the sanctions leveled against his country’s arms sector were aimed at stopping Russia from reinforcing its position, to its detriment.
“I would say that the (US) administration’s actions indicate a fear of honest competition in a whole number of spheres,” he said.
Washington’s wishes were comprehensible, but honest competition was needed, instead of banning countries from buying Russian products under threat of sanctions, said the minister.
He claimed that the administration of US President Donald Trump feared honest competition much more than his predecessor, Barrack Obama.
Washington had pressured the European Union into stopping the Nord Stream 2 gasoduct project, which would expand an existing framework to carry gas from Russia to Europe, so that the EU would instead have to purchase more expensive gas from the US.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the adoption of new sanctions by the US would inevitably lead to relations between the two countries worsening.