Russia suggests Western sanctions embolden it

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday said Moscow wouldn’t respond with punitive measures every time Western sanctions target his country and suggested they could even benefit Russia.

"I assure you, we will overcome any difficulties that may arise in certain areas of the economy, and maybe we will become more independent and more confident in our own strength," Lavrov said, according to Reuters.

The sanctions can’t be ignored altogether, he added.


"We can't ignore it. But to fall into hysterics and respond to a blow with a blow is not worthy of a major country."

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said on CNN Sunday that the administration expects Europe to issue sector sanctions against Russia “in the coming days.”

European Union members are set to meet again on Tuesday to consider proposed sanctions that would aim to cripple Russia’s economy. EU ambassadors reached a preliminary deal on Friday to pursue them.

They also added new individuals and companies to the list of people they are sanctioning as a result of the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Obama administration officials said last week that they were also considering imposing harsher sector sanctions against Russia for its role in aiding the pro-Russian separatists they say shot down Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

The day before the crash, President Obama announced the last round of sanctions, which target two major Russian banks and two energy companies.