MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian deputy foreign minister accused the United States on Monday of trying to bring down President Vladimir Putin by imposing sanctions on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine, TASS news agency reported.
“It is hardly a secret that the goal of the sanctions is to create social and economic conditions to carry out a change of power in Russia,” TASS quoted Sergei Ryabkov told a hearing in the lower house of parliament.
He said it would take years to overcome the impact of the crisis in Ukraine, during which the United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on the finance, defence and energy sectors in Russia as well as on some individuals.
Ryabkov also accused Washington of trying to drive a wedge between Russia and the other former Soviet republics and said these efforts were being made particularly aggressively in Ukraine this year.
Reporting by Maria Kiselyova, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Timothy Heritage