Updated 8:34 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on Thursday described new EU restrictive measures against Russia's defense sector as a serious strategic blunder.
"Sanctions against the military-industrial complex are an attempt to make us weaker...and explore our weakness. I believe it is a strategic blunder on part of the West," Rogozin, who oversees Russia's defense and space industries, said in an interview with Rossiya-24 television.
Rogozin insisted that the sanctions would have a reverse effect by making the Russians more fierce and determined in their work and actions.
“These sanctions will consolidate people and the society in the country,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday the European Council (EC) officially unveiled additional sanctions against Russia adopted by the 28-member European Union earlier this week.
According to an EC statement, the strengthened sanctions will affect Russia's energy, finance and defense sectors. Debt financing to three major Russian defense companies has been prohibited. The ban on exporting technology for military use in Russia has been extended to include a list of nine mixed defense companies that must not receive dual use goods from the European Union.
Over the last few months, the European Union and the United States have implemented several rounds of economic sanctions over Moscow's alleged participation in the Ukrainian conflict.
Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the conflict saying that the sanctions threaten international peace and stability and run counter to the principles of international law.
In August, in response to the sanctions, Moscow imposed a year-long ban on the import of meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, as well as milk products from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.