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Medvedev Says West's Attempts to Turn Russians Against Authorities Only Consolidate Society

© Sputnik / Екатерина Штукина / Go to the mediabankDmitri Medvedev, former prime minister and president and deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council. February 15, 2022.
Dmitri Medvedev, former prime minister and president and deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council. February 15, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has told Sputnik that the West tries to turn the Russian people against the government by imposing "foolish sanctions", but these restrictions consolidate the society as Russians have a different mentality.
"In fact, the West is trying to influence the citizens of our country, to hurt them with these sanctions. And, eventually, to try setting them against the government's policy, against Russian President [Vladimir Putin's] policy, hoping that in the end it will result in some kind of trouble for the authorities, that it will create problems for the authorities," Medvedev said.
"However, it seems to me that the people who are generating these decisions are absolutely unaware of our mentality, they do not understand the attitude of the Russian people in the broad sense of this word. They do not understand the motivations behind this pressure, that when such pressure is exerted - and this pressure is not on large entrepreneurs, not on big businesses, it is pressure on everyone - the society consolidates," the deputy chairman added.
He also stressed that Western attempts to restrict Russian business in order to somehow influence the country's authorities are "senseless and foolish" as businesspersons turned out to be "guilty without guilt," and none of them is able to change the position of the Russian leadership.
"Let's ask ourselves the question: is anyone from this large business even capable of influencing the position of the country's leadership to any extent? I will be candid: no, in no way," Medvedev said.
The former Russian president added that authorities and business have different tasks.
"Those who are engaged in the country's management primarily focus on the interests of the whole country, on the interests of the people of Russia. Whoever is in charge of running their own business (this is a very important task), is in charge of only that. Therefore, thinking that by restricting Russian business they will somehow influence the authorities... that is absolutely senseless, it is just stupid, foolish."
FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Russian flag and natural gas pipeline - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.03.2022
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Medvedev noted that Western countries do not understand that Russians will "stand up for the country, will be a guide to the policy of the country" in this sort of situation. He added that "such restrictions, deprivations, these only bring people together, consolidate people, not divide them. And that is their main miscalculation, this is the weakness of these foolish sanctions."
Speaking to Sputnik and RT, Medvedev pointed out that Russia's special military operation in Ukraine proceeds as planned and will continue until goals of demilitarisation and 'de-Nazification are achieved.
"These goals concern the future of Ukraine: Ukraine's status as a neutral country, a country that does not pursue an anti-Russian policy, a country that is not militarised, and a country that should be our normal neighbour," Medvedev added.
The deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council stressed that the operation was kicked off primarily because the goals set by Moscow were not achieved diplomatically.
On 24 February, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk that had been recognised by Moscow as independent few days prior, appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have imposed numerous packages of sanctions against Moscow, targeting Russian officials and entities, businesses, media, and financial institutions. Some foreign companies have decided to "suspend their operations" in Russia altogether.
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