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Putin: Russia to update its strategy in WTO amid sanctions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that “illegal” restrictions on Russian companies by Western states ran counter to World Trade Organization rules and told his government to update Russia’s strategy in the WTO by June 1.

Speaking at a government meeting on the country’s metals industry, Putin said that Western countries had banned Russia from buying components needed to produce rolled metal, steel sheets and other products.

“These measures [sanctions] run counter to WTO principles, to which European colleagues have constantly reiterated their adherence,” Putin said.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian metals companies were facing “hostile attitudes” from what Moscow calls unfriendly countries, and that Russia would come up with a plan to combat this.

Russia’s economy has been battered by Western sanctions designed to force Moscow to withdraw troops it sent into Ukraine on February 24.

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