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Russia's Medvedev says sanctions could be justification for war

Russia's Deputy Security Council Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that in certain circumstances, sanctions against Moscow may be seen as an act of aggression and a justification for war.

"I would like to point out once again that under certain circumstances such hostile measures can also qualify as an act of international aggression. And even as a casus belli (justification for war)," Medvedev said, adding that Russia has the right to defend itself.

Medvedev, a former Russian president who was once seen as a liberal, has emerged as one of the most hawkish proponents of the war, delivering a series of scathing denunciations of the West.

Russia has faced a barrage of crippling economic sanctions from Western countries in response to its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a "special military operation".

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