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Putin: Sanctions could backfire

Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned that Western sanctions against his country could backfire.

Speaking in an interview with German ARD television broadcast today, Mr Putin said that cutting Russian access to capital markets would hurt Western exports.

He also said the sanctions could hurt some Russian banks, leading them to demand repayment of multibillion loans they have given to Ukraine, damaging its economy.

Mr Putin cited Russia's state-controlled Gazprombank, which he said issued loans worth 3.2 billion US dollars (£2 billion) to Ukraine.

Mr Putin gave the interview ahead of attending the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.

In it, he voiced hope that the Ukrainian crisis will end and Russia-West ties will improve, adding: "We want to have normal relations with our partners, including in the United States and Europe."

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