The Russian prime minister says Western countries have lost an estimated USD 100 billion due to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Kremlin’s alleged role in the Ukraine conflict. “According to estimates of international experts, in recent time, the countries that have imposed the sanctions have lost about USD 100 billion,” Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday.
Medvedev, who was among the attendees in the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Mongolia, also noted that most of officials he talked to during the event agreed that the bans harm economic relations. On Friday, the Russian premier further held a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the ASEM summit.
According to the Russian government press service, the two sides “discussed the situation in Ukraine, … the trade and economic relations between Russia and the European Union and … the Russian-German cooperation.”
Heads of state and representatives from 28 EU member states and 21 Asian countries attended the two-day event. The West’s sanctions against Russia were initially introduced after the Black Sea Crimean Peninsula declared independence from Ukraine and voted for reunification with the Russian Federation in March 2014.
The Kremlin has slapped restrictions on some food imports from the US, the EU, Norway, Australia and Canada in a tit-for-tat move. Washington and its European allies accuse Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine. Moscow, however, rejects having a hand in the crisis gripping the Eastern European state.
Ukraine’s eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April 2014 to crush pro-Moscow protests there. The conflict has left around 9,400 people dead and over 22,000 others injured.