Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin claims that the sanctions against Moscow were imposed in order to affect the Russian elections.
The sanctions against Moscow were imposed in order to affect the Russian elections, Russia's oil giant Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told the Financial Times newspaper in an interview.
"The aim was to influence, to affect the socio-economic situation. To make it worse and to affect the [Russian] elections. That’s my deep conviction," Sechin said.
The CEO added that the sanctions were illegal as a company cannot bear political responsibility.
"To be honest, I don’t like to talk about sanctions. I believe they are totally unjustified and even illegal. One cannot transfer political responsibility on to the corporate level. We are not part of the international politics. We do not form policy," Sechin noted.
Relations between Russia and the United States deteriorated in 2014, when Washington and its allies accused Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis and imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia. The restrictions targeted Russia's banking, energy and defense sectors.
Russia has repeatedly refuted Western allegations and warned that imposing sanctions is counterproductive. Russia announced in 2014 a food embargo on some products originating in states that had imposed restrictive measures on Moscow.