Moscow "doesn't give a shit" about the risk of Western sanctions if it were to invade Ukraine, Russia's outspoken ambassador to Sweden told a Swedish newspaper.

"Excuse my language, but we don't give a shit about all their sanctions", Viktor Tatarintsev told the Aftonbladet newspaper in an interview posted on its website late Saturday.

"We have already had so many sanctions and in that sense they've had a positive effect on our economy and agriculture," said the veteran diplomat, who speaks fluent Swedish and has been posted to the Scandinavian country four times.

"We are more self-sufficient and have been able to increase our exports. We have no Italian or Swiss cheeses, but we've learned to make just as good Russian cheeses using Italian and Swiss recipes", he said.

"New sanctions are nothing positive but not as bad as the West makes it sound", he added.

Tatarintsev accused the West of not understanding the Russian mentality.

"The more the West pushes Russia, the stronger the Russian response will be," he said.

The diplomat's comments come as Western nations fear Moscow is preparing an invasion of Ukraine, having nearly surrounded its western neighbour with more than 100,000 troops.

Washington has warned that an all-out invasion could begin "any day".

Tatarintsev insisted Moscow was trying to avoid a war.

"That is our political leadership's most sincere wish. The last thing people in Russia want is war."



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