Updated 6:46 p.m. Moscow Time
DUSHANBE, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian authorities will introduce measures in response to the Western sanctions only to protect the country’s interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
"As for our response measures, the government is mulling this option, but such measures, if introduced, will be aimed solely to create better conditions for our country," Putin told journalists.
He stressed that the already approved measures, such as imports restrictions, were aimed to support Russian producers.
On Thursday, presidential aide Andrei Belousov stated that Russia has prepared a new package of retaliatory measures to Western sanctions that include embargoes on imports of secondhand cars and textile products, but refused to give any particular details as to when the measures may come into force.
In August, Russia has already been forced to respond to Western sanctions with a ban on certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow regrets the European Union's decision to impose new sanctions against Russia, which came into force on Friday morning, stressing that Brussels fails to see the reality of the situation in eastern Ukraine and the steps both sides are taking toward peace.
Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it is not involved in the internal Ukrainian conflict, called the language of sanctions "counterproductive," and said that such measures "threaten international peace and stability."