MOSCOW - The latest round of Europen Union sanctions against Russia over Ukraine will just exacerbate problems within the bloc, a spokeswoman for Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
EU leaders agreed this week to provide 18 billion euros ($19 billion) in financing to Ukraine next year and hit Moscow with a ninth package of sanctions. The latest measures blacklist nearly 200 more people and bar investment in Russia's mining industry, among other steps.
"The current 'package' will have the same effect as all the previous ones - exacerbation of socio-economic problems in the European Union itself," ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.
She also called on Brussels to cancel all restrictions that directly or indirectly, are having an impact on Russian exports of grains and fertilizers.
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia would expand trade cooperation with new partners, including by sharply increasing gas exports to China, to combat Western sanctions.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin Editing by Frances Kerry)