(QHA) -

President Vladimir Putin dismissed Western sanctions as "utter foolishness" on Thursday and said they would only encourage Russia to build closer ties with China, India and Latin America.

Putin said the sanctions, imposed by the United States, the European Union and others over Russia's role in the Ukrainian crisis, violated basic principles of the World Trade Organization and inflicted lasting damage to the global economy.

The ruble has fallen sharply as the sanctions have taken hold, imposing severe restrictions on top Russian banks and companies to borrow on Western capital markets. Capital flight is expected to top $100 billion this year as jittery investors dump Russian assets.

Putin said that the Kremlin has no plans to introduce any currency restrictions or capital controls, adding that Russia's Central Bank has enough instruments to ensure the nation's financial stability.

He said that the government plans to expand trading in rubles with China and other nations to help lower risks.

Putin acknowledged that Russia's ban on most Western food in retaliation to Western sanctions has fueled inflation, which is expected to reach 8 percent this year, but voiced hope that prices will stabilize.