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Russia to Respond ‘Asymmetrically’ to New Sanctions, Medvedev Says

Moscow will respond "asymmetrically" to new sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, possibly targeting flights over Russia, if its Western partners press on with "the temptation to use force in international relations," Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. Blaming the West for damaging the Russian economy by triggering several rounds of "stupid" sanctions, Medvedev underlined Moscow's belief it is occupying the higher ground in the worst confrontation with the West since the Cold War. Russia may have been too patient in responding to sanctions imposed so far by the United States and European Union over Moscow's role in Ukraine, he told the Russian daily Vedomosti.

"If there are sanctions related to the energy sector, or further restrictions on Russia's financial sector, we will have to respond asymmetrically," he said in an interview published on Monday, adding the airlines of "friendly countries" were allowed to fly over Russia. "If Western carriers have to bypass our airspace, this could drive many struggling airlines into bankruptcy. This is not the way to go. We just hope our partners realize this at some point."

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- Reuters