Western countries are waging an “economic war” against Russia to pursue regime change, the head of Russia’s second-largest lender, VTB Bank, said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Russian businessmen are bracing for the release of a list of Kremlin-linked “oligarchs” by the U.S. Treasury Department next Monday, Jan. 29. The blacklist accompanies a new set of sanctions expected in February over alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
“I think they want to put a lot of pressure on Russia with the help of sanctions so that Russia changes its government and its president to someone more suitable for them,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited VTB chief Andrei Kostin as saying Wednesday.
Despite Moscow’s official line that western sanctions have a limited impact on the Russian economy, Kostin described western sanctions as a “full-scale attack on Russia, on Russian society.”
“This is a very big economic war. And I’m serious, we’ll also take it very seriously.”