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Russia to respond harshly to attempts to strip it of reserve ownership — Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. Russia will provide a harsh response to all attempts to strip it of ownership over its sovereign reserves, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said over the potential use of Russia’s frozen assets by the West.

“We will provide a harsh response to any unfriendly actions, connected to attempts to strip Russia of ownership over its sovereign reserves in one way or another. Our response measures, aimed at protection of our legitimate rights and interests, will be justified both from legal and moral standpoints,” the diplomat said in a commentary, published on the Russian Foreign Ministry website.

According to Zakharova, if Russian reserves indeed get used as a security, any people and funds that decide to buy such obligations, will become the first candidates to be subjected to Russia’s countermeasures, including financial and proprietary ones.

“The Russian government currently reviews a wide array of options on how to exert legal and economic effect on those who expect to profit from stealing our assets,” she underscored.

Meanwhile, the diplomat noted that “for the first time in a while, Western official started admitting, even if not publicly, the danger of arbitrary manipulations with someone else’s property.”

“Amid the problems in the economy, largely caused by their own mistakes and miscalculations, as well as the mirror effect of the anti-Russian sanctions, Europe has finally considered the consequences of such expropriations for their own investment climate and business reputation,” the spokeswoman noted.

She pointed out that Moscow sees any attempt to seize Russian assets as primitive theft.

“Of course, we understand that the West won’t stop and will keep looking for new pretexts to create an impression of legitimacy of seizure of our assets. We view any attempts to seize funds owned by Russia as primitive theft and the expropriators’ desire to fill their own pockets,” she underscored.

According to the diplomat, such approach is not surprising, because the collective West has long sought to subject Russia to “neo-colonial business practice, when Washington, Brussels and its satellite grab all rights and privileges, while the other side only gets obligations and expenses.”

“When Russia stopped tolerating this, they have effectively declared a hybrid war against us, imposed unprecedented restrictive measures in violation of international law, vowed to inflict ‘strategic defeat’ and to ‘rip our economy to shreds.’ But, as you can see, the West has not achieved this result, and it will not get to see it,” the spokeswoman concluded.

Source: Tass