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Medvedev: Western sanctions will not affect the Kremlin’s position

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National Security Council deputy chairman and former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said it was “foolish” to think that Western sanctions on Russian companies could have any effect on the government in Moscow.
Medvedev told the RIA news agency in an interview that the sanctions will only lead to the unification of Russian society and will not cause popular discontent with the authorities.

The West imposed a series of sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, but a month after the war, the Kremlin says it will continue the offensive until it achieves its goals of “disarming” Ukraine.
Some of the sanctions target big businessmen who are believed to be close to President Vladimir Putin.

“Let’s ask ourselves: can any of these big businessmen have the slightest influence on the country’s leadership position? … I tell you frankly: no, it is impossible,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev said opinion polls showed that three quarters of Russians supported the Kremlin’s decision to carry out a military operation in Ukraine and even supported President Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev criticized the Russians, who opposed the invasion while living abroad.

He said: “You can be dissatisfied with some of the authorities’ decisions and criticize the authorities… This is normal. But you cannot take a stand against the state in such a difficult situation because this is treason.”

An independent protest monitoring group says Russian authorities arrested thousands of people earlier this month at nationwide protests against the invasion.

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