Former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, General of the Army of Ukraine Mykola Malomuzh says that the role of sanctions imposed by the West on Russia is exaggerated.

"The conclusions regarding the negative consequences of the sanctions imposed on Russia are exaggerated. [Statements about] Russia's vulnerability are also exaggerated," he said during an online Q&A session with the Ukrainian news outlet Glavred's readers.

"Russia's natural potential and financial reserves are big. It also has the resources that are currently in demand on global markets (oil, gas, energy, electricity, nuclear fuel, titanium, minerals). If Russia does not cooperate with Europe much, it cooperates with China, India, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Africa, etc. Therefore, Russia can survive, and the role of the sanctions is exaggerated," he said.

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In his view, the sanctions against Moscow are not critical because they are of limited character.

"Russia will continue staying afloat. It will channel its main resources into security and defense, first of all, into new types of weapons of the fifth and sixth generations, this is what it has been doing ... We must realistically evaluate our adversary," Malomuzh said.

The Ukrainian army general is convinced that the sanctions against Russia today are ineffective. "But other sanctions that are strategic conditions for the existence of Russia can be effective. So far, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has been given a window of opportunity to go for deals and start playing by civilized rules," Malomuzh concluded.

On December 21, the economic sanctions of the European Union related to the banking, financial and energy sectors of Russia were extended until July 31, 2019.