ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russia has prepared a classified document setting out actions it would take if Western nations impose further sanctions on Moscow over its involvement in the crisis in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin’s top economic aide said on Friday.
The United States and European Union have hit officials, lawmakers and companies close to Putin with sanctions and have warned they could impose broader measures affecting swathes of the economy if deemed necessary to rein in Russia.
“I can say that strategy or no strategy, there is a tactic, it has been worked out, it is in the form of a document - a document that is closed, for obvious reasons,” Andrei Belousov told state-run Rossiya-24 television when asked whether Russia had strategy in place.
“Whether it is sanctions against individuals or against companies, whether it is sectoral sanctions, comprehensive, systemic sanctions, whether they touch the banking system or not - corresponding actions have been set out for each of these levels,” he told Rossiya-24 in an interview on the sidelines of Russia’s annual economic forum.
“And so, if something is applied against the Russian Federation, we know how to react quite quickly.”
Belousov echoed Putin’s warning that sanctions would boomerang against those who imposed them and suggested further punishments for Russia would go against the interest of European nations in particular.
“I can tell you my observation: Our Western partners - our colleagues who work in Russia - are much more worried about sanctions than we are,” Belousov said.
“That applies to German companies, French companies, Italian companies - that is, companies from countries that are quite strongly represented here.”
Reporting by Lidia Kelly, Vladimir Soldatkin and Steve Gutterman; Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Ralph Boulton