Russia’s largest independent gas producer, Novatek, has shrugged off new sanctions against Arctic LNG 2 introduced last week in response to the military offensive in Ukraine.

“Sanctions that have been introduced, is the high praise for our professionalism,” Russian news agency Interfax quoted Novatek executive chairman Leonid Mikhelson as saying.

Mikhelson claims the sanctions against its flagship liquefied natural gas development are due to US authorities’ desire to keep international gas prices high, which in turn, in his opinion, benefits players in North America, where production costs are high.