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Putin Says Sanctions Fail To Split Russian Society

President Vladimir Putin says Western efforts to split Russian society with economic sanctions have failed to yield expected results.

Addressing the Russian Security Council on July 3, Putin said the West wants to punish Russia for its independent course.

"We are pursuing an independent domestic and foreign policy; we are not selling our sovereignty," Putin said. “Not everyone likes that, but it cannot be otherwise.

"We shouldn't expect some of our geopolitical opponents to revise their unfriendly course in the foreseeable future," he added.

Putin also ordered that Russia's national security strategy be updated.

The United States and its allies have imposed sanctions that have restricted Russia's access to capital markets and banned transfers of military and energy technologies.

The move came in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and its support for pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the secretary of Russia's Security Council says Moscow will consider new retaliatory measures against some Western countries.

Nikolai Patrushev said on July 3 that Moscow may for instance revise favorable conditions for Finnish timber traders in response to Helsinki's refusal to issue a visa to State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

Naryshkin, who planned to lead a delegation to next week's session of the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly, is on the EU sanctions list.

Patrushev accused the West of trying to use the sanctions to “change the current leadership” in Russia.

He also blamed United States for the Ukrainian crisis and claimed that its settlement depends entirely on Washington.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, TASS, and Interfax

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