Russian foreign minister: 'No one could have predicted' the West's sweeping sanctions against Russia

Speaking to students and staff at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that "no could have predicted" the severity of Western sanctions against Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, POLITICO reports.

“When the reserves of the Central Bank were frozen, no one would think, out of those who made predictions, what sanctions the West might apply,” he said, adding that the West’s move is “thievery.”

“Russia must be made to never again be reliant on supplies from abroad,” he said, but clarified that Moscow would be “ready to cooperate” with the West in the future “if they want.”

As POLITICO points out, the EU, U.S., U.K. and Canada enacted coordinated sanctions freezing the Russian central bank’s foreign deposits, making it unable to access around half of its $630 billion gold and foreign currency reserves.

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