Even as the United States has further tightened sanctions against Russia, a Chechen leader claims that Europe cannot afford Anti-Russia sanctions because it needs Moscow. Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Russian North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, told Russian media that sanctions imposed by Europe won’t last long.

West Cannot Afford Sanctions Against Russia: Chechnya Leader

Europe ‘will not last’ without Russia

Western countries have imposed massive economic sanctions against Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis and annexation of Crimea. The measures were meant to cripple Russian economy to the extent that Vladimir Putin stops backing separatists in Eastern Ukraine and comply with the peace agreements signed in Minsk earlier this year. Even though it hurt the Russian economy, tensions between the West and Russia continue to escalate.

In response to Western sanctions, Russia had imposed a ban on the import of food items from Europe and the U.S. last year. Last month, Moscow extended the ban for another year. Kadyrov said “Europe will not last” without Russia. Whatever the U.S. says, European countries will lift sanctions “for their own economic security.”

U.S. imposes further sanctions on Russia

On Thursday, the United States imposed additional sanctions on Russia. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed measures on about two dozen entities and individuals. The list included five Crimean port operations, two entities in Russia’s arms sector, and another 13 that supported the evasion of existing sanctions. Washington also sanctioned four former Ukrainian officials associated with the ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Russia said the fresh U.S. sanctions showed that Washington wanted to aggravate confrontation with Moscow. Russian Foreign Ministry warned Friday that such “provocations” would destroy Russia-U.S. relations. Moscow will react to the sanctions, the Foreign Ministry added.

The United States is looking to provide lethal weapons to war-torn Ukraine to help it defend itself against separatists. Washington is also increasing military presence in Eastern Europe in a bid to counter Russian aggression. In response, Russia has been aggressively modernizing its military. Moscow has even threatened a nuclear war to drive NATO out of Baltics.