Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that he will not be “crippling” by US sanctions that could affect his economy.
The US has imposed sanctions on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis and alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
It is one of the biggest economic sanctions Russia has faced since the Soviet era.
Putin has repeatedly insisted that he is not affected by the sanctions, which he says are aimed at strengthening the country’s economy and deterring future Russian meddling.
“I have no interest in making this argument, I will not take any action that affects my own economy, that will lead to my own destruction,” Putin said in an interview with the television station TV One.
Putin said the sanctions had made it impossible for him to get any foreign investment and hurt his own personal finances.
“The sanctions are designed to strengthen our economy, not to damage it,” he said.
Russia has been hit by a wave of retaliatory measures against US companies and people following Trump’s election victory.
Russian lawmakers are considering legislation that would criminalise the financing of foreign propaganda and “incitement of ethnic hatred” and block US assets.
But the bill has been met with strong opposition from Russia’s US-based ally, the US State Department, which argues that such measures would undermine international diplomacy.