Putin mocks U.S. sanctions
Friday, March 21, 2014
MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday joked about U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia, saying he will open an account at U.S.-sanctioned Rossiya Bank on Monday.
The U.S. announced Thursday that it will impose financial sanctions on 20 people, including Russian government officials and those close to Putin, in addition to 11 individuals who were sanctioned on Monday.
Russia’s Rossiya Bank´s Visa and Master Card payment systems stopped on Friday after the U.S. sanction in a bid to halt international money transactions.
During a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council, he said “I was going to open an account in the bank on Monday, so my salary can be transferred to this account.”
During the security council meeting, Putin on discovering that sanctions were imposed on 20 people, joked that “we need to avoid these citizens as they are compromising Russia!”
He said that Russia would refrain from issuing either retaliatory sanctions against the U.S. or reciprocal visas with Ukraine after Thursday's decision by Ukraine's top national security and defense body to introduce visas for Russians.
"The introduction of the visa regime will make innocent Ukrainians suffer. Ukrainians are already having a hard time, they are not rich, but they are earning little money for their families working in Russia, we should not do this,” Putin said.
Putin also said his country would continue participating in the joint NATO and Russian project to repair helicopters along with helicopter training in Afghanistan.
“This cooperation should continue despite our NATO partners vow to freeze our partnership,” Putin said.
Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the meeting of the Russian Security Council that Ukraine's debt to Russia is US$16 billion.
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