CCTV9英语新闻:Lavrov: Russia will defend economy against sanctions

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Russia will protect its economy, citizens and businesses, in response to any new sanctions from the European Union or the United States. 

Lavrov again denied the presence of Russian tanks and troops in Ukraine. And he reiterated that Moscow will not militarily interfere in the ongoing Ukraine crisis. Lavrov also played down Russia’s exclusion from the Group of Eight over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. He said the forum had lost much of its significance since the formation of the wider G20. 

Meanwhile, Lavrov said Ukrainian forces must pull back from positions where they can hit civilian targets, and negotiations taking place on Monday should seek an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.