Russian opposition politician Mikhail Khodorkovsky told Spiegel Online in an interview, Censor.NET reports citing DW.
Khodorkovsky said that technology sanctions in the 21st century are able to condemn Russia to a decade of stagnation.
"With the ban on technology exports for Russian drilling projects, they are blocking Russia's profitable development of the Arctic continental shelf for at least a decade," the politician said as translated from German.
Khodorkovsky said the Russian leaders were the ones responsible for the stiffening of the sanctions. He called them "fantastic idiots" and said they gave the Americans the occasion for this step. "How stupid can one be to get involved in the American elections?," Khodorkovsky said.
The sanctions also have economic reasoning, the politician believes.
"The Americans firmly believe that their shale gas is a very promising product, and they want to prepare markets for it in Europe," he said.
Late July, the U.S. Senate passed the new sanctions bill against Russia overwhelmingly and sent it to Trump for signature. Russia in response restricted U.S. diplomatic missions' access to several facilities and demanded to shorten the staff of the mission by 755 people by Sept. 1.
Trump signed the new bill on Russia sanctions on Aug. 2, but in a signing statement, he said he sees serious flaws in this document, although signs it for the sake of the national unity.
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