GO
Loading...

US, Europe are our friends, not foes: Russian diplomat

Russia continues to see the U.S. and Europe as partners, not adversaries, a Russian diplomat told CNBC on Wednesday, shortly after Western powers sharply escalated economic sanctions against Moscow.

"We address even the U.S. as our partners, so Europeans are definitely our partners as well. We'll try to continue to do our best to be partners in business, diplomacy, prevention of natural disaster, green economy. Partners everywhere," said Leonid Moiseev, Russian ambassador to Singapore.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama joined the European Union in toughening economic pressures on Russia, seeking to pressure the Kremlin to abandon its support for separatists in Ukraine.

Read MoreNew sanctions for Russia—here's where they'll hurt

The latest American measures target major sectors of the Russian economy, including energy, defense and finance. The sanctions target five of Russia's six largest state-owned banks and aim to limit their access to U.S. debt markets.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

On the implications of Russian companies being denied dollar funding, Moiseev said, "We'll have to adjust to a new reality. We'll have to rely on our money sources; we'll have to rely on other partners [in Asia]."

Russian retaliation

Russia is currently preparing its response to the latest round of sanctions, said Moiseev, with more details to emerge over the next two days.

The retaliation is expected to take the form of further visa bans on U.S. citizens as well as economic sanctions, he said.

Read MoreTotal curbs Russia investment after MH17 downing

Last week, Russia threatened to seize assets of British oil companies including BP and Shell as a reprisal against tough EU sanctions. The two firms have partnerships with Russia energy firms Gazprom and Rosneft.

Echoes of Cold War

While deteriorating ties between the West and Russia are producing echoes of the Cold War; Moiseev, does not see current escalation in tensions headed in that direction.

Read MoreObama: This is not a new Cold War with Russia

"I don't believe it's a new Cold War. The Cold War [was] a propaganda war. The world has changed in terms of its interdependence," he said.

"I worked for 20 years as a Soviet diplomat, and 20 years as a Russian diplomat, so I can compare. At that time, the Soviet Union was a huge world empire, absolutely isolated from the West. But today's Russia is interconnected with the Western economies, and Western economies are also interconnected with Russia," he added.

Contact Politics

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More