While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov forcefully stated that “We denounce sanctions in all their forms,” President Vladimir Putin had more of a laconic attitude, as is his wont, to the U.S. and EU announcement of additional sanctions against Russia.
“We would very much wish not to resort to any measures in response. I hope we won’t get to that point. But if something like that continues, we will of course have to think about who is working in the key sectors of the Russian economy, including the energy sector, and how.”
You can be sure the point was not lost on BP and Royal Dutch Shell, among others, whose top executives have made recent pilgrimages to Moscow to meet with Putin and make sure the sanctions don’t affect their activities in Russia.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin preferred a more ironic approach. Interfax reported remarks by Rogozin yesterday that, since the new sanctions are intended “to deliver a blow to Russia’s rocket-building sector, then by default they would be exposing their astronauts on the International Space Station.” On his Twitter account, Rogozin added that perhaps the U.S. could “bring their astronauts to the ISS using a trampoline.”