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Thursday 28 August 2014

Putin condemns Western sanctions - 'violation of human rights'

Published 17/04/2014 | 12:36

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Putin said Ukraine's Berkut riot police, a force disbanded by authorities in Kiev after being blamed for the deaths of protesters, had served honorably in the line of duty
Putin said Ukraine's Berkut riot police, a force disbanded by authorities in Kiev after being blamed for the deaths of protesters, had served honorably in the line of duty
Reporters listen to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a nationwide phone-in (AP)
Reporters listen to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a nationwide phone-in (AP)
A fighter jet flies above as Ukrainian soldiers sit on an armoured personnel carrier in Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin has condemned Western sanctions imposed on a group of Russians and Ukrainians, saying they were aimed at people close to him and in one case had prevented a leading businessman's wife from paying for an operation.

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He said the wife of Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, the co-owner of gas producer Novatek, had been unable to pay because of a blocked bank card.

"Of course this is simply a violation of human rights. It has nothing to do with common sense," Putin said in a televised phone-in with people from across Russia.

He said the sanctions were aimed at attacking people close to the president.

"Probably it was an attempt to make me the main target of the sanctions. But as for these people - yes, these are my good acquaintances, my friends. They have earned their money, some of them even before we met," he said.

Russia has no intention of isolating itself on the world stage, Putin said, adding that other nations appeared reluctant to understand Russia's point of view.

"We are often faced with a lack of understanding of our position and sometimes even with an unwillingness to understand...(but) in general we do not intend to isolate ourselves," he said.

Reuters

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