A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin has said U.S. sanctions against him and the state-owned firm he heads cannot succeed.
Sergey Chemezov is chief executive of Rostec, a Russian state corporation established in late 2007 to promote and export products for civil and defense sectors.The firm employs 453,000 people and in 2016 reported a revenue of $18.9 billion.
Chemezov was barred by the Obama administration from entering the United States in 2014. Rostec itself was also subject to U.S. sanctions following Russia's invasion of eastern Ukraine.
Speaking at Dubai Airshow on Monday, the CEO said his firm is currently entered into contracts with governments and that meant that the U.S. would now have to impose sanctions against all countries with which the company dealt with.
"I do not see how they will be able to impose sanctions against all of them — I mean, India, China or Arab Emirates. I just cannot imagine how it could be done," he said in a statement Monday.
Chemezov added that representation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) was benefiting the United States at Russia's expense.
"We have joined the WTO, and what has it given us?
"The WTO has been established to promote level playing field for all market participants. But where is this level playing field, when a country can dictate its terms to all other members in the pursuit of its own interests?"
Chemezov is reported to have befriended Putin while working for the KGB in East Germany during the 1980s.