But Russia is strong, Patrushev said
Nikolay Patrushev Ilya Pitalev/TASS
“It is evident that the White House hoped for a sharp deterioration of the Russians’ quality of life and mass protests,” Patrushev said.
“[But] Russia has accumulated a sufficient reserve of economic, financial and – the main thing – political strength, it has solidarity and support on the part of foreign partners, including in the framework of most multilateral formats,” he said.
Commenting on the results of his working trips to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, Patrushev said “attempts to influence our states from outside do not stop.” He said the US itself calls such attempts “efforts to improve the democratic situation.”
“China and many other countries… use the term ‘color revolutions’,” the official said, adding that Washington’s methods have not changed over the past few decades.
“They have been tested on the post-Soviet space, in Middle East and North African countries and other regions of the world,” Patrushev said.
He said that “practically, financing of opposition forces continues under the pretext of human rights protection and the necessity to form civil society institutions.”
“Simultaneously, unilateral economic sanctions are imposed. This is well seen from the example of the anti-Russian campaign launched by the United States under the pretext of the situation in Ukraine,” he said.
Russian officials and companies came under the first batch of Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March 2014 after the February 2014 coup in Ukraine.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
The West announced new, sectoral, restrictions against Russia in late July 2014, in particular, for what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in protests in Ukraine’s southeast.
In response, Russia imposed on August 6, 2014 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.
New large-scale punitive measures against Russia followed in September and December 2014.
Russia has constantly dismissed accusations of “annexing” Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum, as well as allegations that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in the southeast of Ukraine.