Russia will continue to support domestic business in face of Western sanctions, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday.
"There is no doubt that under such unfair circumstances the state has always supported and will support Russian business," Medvedev said at a meeting with Leonid Mikhelson, CEO of Novatek, Russia's largest independent natural gas producer.
"Defending Russian business, if it suffers from unfair and illegitimate actions taken by other countries and foreign companies, is just the obligation of the state," the Interfax news agency quoted Medvedev as saying.
The prime minister called the West's strategy of imposing sanctions on Russia as baseless and "definite violation of international law."
Medvedev threatened Monday to close Russia's airspace in response to new Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
He stressed that additional sanctions would not help bring peace to Ukraine, but only threaten the global security system. He warned that "sanctions are always double-edged."
The European Union and the United States have slapped sanctions against Moscow to punish its alleged role in destabilizing eastern Ukraine. In early August, Russia imposed a one-year ban on food imports from the EU, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway in retaliation.
In the latest development, the EU on Monday announced a new package of sanctions against Russia, but with a decision to bring such measures into effect in the next few days. The bloc said the time to start the sanctions depends on the situation in Ukraine.