Russian ambassador: We don't give a sh*t about all their sanctions
Sanctions against Russia are painted to be worse than they actually are, according to the Russian ambassador to Sweden.
Russia's ambassador to Sweden, Viktor Tatarintsev, said Moscow "doesn't give a sh*t" about US sanctions if they were to be imposed on Moscow in case of a military standoff with Ukraine.
"Excuse my language, but we don't give a sh*t about all their sanctions", the outspoken ambassador told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet on Saturday.
"We have already had so many sanctions and in that sense they've had a positive effect on our economy and agriculture," said the veteran diplomat.
He explains that sanctions have made Russia stronger, more independent and self-sufficient: "We are more self-sufficient and have been able to increase our exports. We have no Italian or Swiss cheeses, but we've learned to make just as good Russian cheeses using Italian and Swiss recipes", he said.
Sanctions, according to Tatarintsev, are "not as bad as the West makes it sound," but they're not positive either. The ambassador contends that the West does not understand the Russian mentality.
"The more the West pushes Russia, the stronger the Russian response will be," he said.
While the US keeps beating the war drum, Moscow, according to Tatarintsev, is trying to avoid a war: "That is our political leadership's most sincere wish. The last thing people in Russia want is war."
It is worth mentioning that the UK and the US have raised the prospect of even harsher economic sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the situation around Ukraine has worsened over the past several months after the US and its allies accused Russia of preparing to "invade" its neighbor.
Russia has repeatedly denied having plans to attack any country but said it reserves the right to move troops inside its sovereign territory as it sees fit, as part of defending its security.
Moscow has also warned that NATO's plans to expand further eastward, including in Ukraine, represent a threat to its national security.