U.S. Markets closed

Putin criticises sanctions but says Russia does not want war

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, on February 4, 2015 (AFP Photo/Michael Klimentyev)

Moscow (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said Russia is not at war and does not want war with anyone, but sharply criticised Western sanctions over Ukraine.

"There's no war, thank God. But there is definitely an attempt to curb our development," Putin told a trade union conference, cited by TASS news agency.

He criticised sanctions imposed on Russia by the West over Ukraine saying "they definitely can't be effective against a country like ours, although they cause certain damage and we have to realise this... We must raise our level of sovereignty, including in our economy."

Putin complained of an attempt to "freeze the existing world order that has become established over the last decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, with a single leader who wants to stay that way," apparently talking about the United States.

"Such a world order will never suit Russia," he said. "If somebody likes it or wants to live in conditions of semi-occupation (then go ahead), but we won't do this."

"But we don't plan to fight a war with anyone. We plan to cooperate with everyone."