Russia is not going to restrict business ties with Europe in the wake of EU anti-Russian economic sanctions, Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said in an interview with Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung. The Internet version of the newspaper published excerpts from the interview on Monday.

“We’ll expand our business relations with China but we won’t restrict relations with Europe either,” Ulyukayev said.

“We feel the impact of the sanctions,” he indicated. This is felt in the access to the world market of capitals, the outflow of capital, the slide of the ruble’s exchange rate, and the inflation, which he believes will reach almost 9% by the yearend.

The sanctions have also affected the inflow of foreign investment, Ulyukayev said.
“However, we’re trying to explain to our partners that these sanctions have a bad impact on everyone,” he said adding that Russia had reacted to many dramatic events abroad, like the state coup in Ukraine.

“It’s like an avalanche now and stopping it is a highly problematic thing,” he said. “One can only try and defends oneself in some way,” he said.

Ulyukayev is expected to visit Germany on November 25 and November 26 for meetings with German business executives where he will discuss the prospects for further cooperation on the existing projects and on new ones.