MOSCOW, March 25 Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
shrugged off sanctions over Moscow's annexation of Crimea,
saying even if the West imposes more punitive measures,
companies that want to work in Russia will not be deterred,
Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday.
"Everything will be fine," Medvedev was quoted as saying
when asked how cooperation with foreign oil and gas companies
would be affected if Western nations broaden sanctions against
"Those who want to work with us in any area, whether it is
science, production, investment in our economy - they aren't
going anywhere, because this is a completely normal process," he
was quoted as saying.
If companies do pull out, he said, "it means they didn't
really want" to work in Russia in the first place, Interfax
quoted him as saying at a forum on innovation in the
oil-producing Tatarstan region.
The United States and European Union have slapped visa bans
and asset freezes on a few dozen Russian officials and
lawmakers as punishment for what they say is Moscow's illegal
seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region on the Black Sea.
They are threatening to impose much wider sanctions,
potentially affecting whole economic sectors, if Russia seeks to
take more Ukrainian territory or makes other aggressive moves.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Alison Williams)