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Vladimir Putin Says Western Sanctions 'Equivalent To Declaring A War'

Hannah Smith

Published 
| Last updated 

Vladimir Putin Says Western Sanctions 'Equivalent To Declaring A War'

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that economic sanctions levelled against his country are 'equivalent to declaring a war.'

In comments made during a meeting with female flight attendants, Putin said: 'These [sanctions] are methods of fighting against Russia. These sanctions that you can see are equivalent to declaring a war - but thankfully it has not come to an actual war but we understand what these threats are about.'

The president also publicly warned NATO against implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine - something that the alliance formally rejected yesterday - claiming that Russia would view any move to do so as 'participation in the armed conflict.'

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Vladimir Putin (Alamy)
Vladimir Putin (Alamy)

Putin's comments come after Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov accused the west of 'economic banditry' and pledged his country would respond to the unprecedented sanctions which have served to effectively cut Russia off from the western world over the course of the past week.

'This does not mean Russia is isolated,' Peskov told reporters on Saturday, per Sky News, adding: 'The world is too big for Europe and America to isolate a country, and even more so a country as big as Russia. There are many more countries in the world.'

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine the EU, UK, US and several other countries have moved to cut ties with Russian industry and bar Russian banks and oligarchs from doing business, in some cases seizing assets like yachts and homes from some of the country's wealthiest businessmen.

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Russians queue to withdraw money at an ATM (Alamy)
Russians queue to withdraw money at an ATM (Alamy)

The sanctions are expected to lead to widespread economic devastation in the country, with the Moscow Stock Exchange announcing yesterday it would not open until at least next Friday, March 11, in an effort to prevent a seemingly inevitable collapse.

Elsewhere during the meeting Putin continued to double down on his plans for Ukraine, pledging that Russia would 'fulfil its aims' of 'demilitarising' and 'denazifying' the country and claiming that the so-called 'special operation' was continuing according to plan, in spite of reports that Russian forces were behind schedule and struggling with major logistical issues amid a fierce Ukrainian resistance.

'The current [Ukrainian] leadership needs to understand that if they continue doing what they are doing, they risk the future of Ukrainian statehood,' he threatened, adding that 'if that happens, they will have to be blamed for that.'

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If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Topics: News, Russia, Vladimir Putin, World News

Hannah Smith
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