Kremlin: New Sanctions to Further Strain Ties with US
A high-raking Russian official strongly condemned the United States for imposing new sanctions against Russian officials and companies accused of interference in the US presidential election, stating that such measures will ruin Washington-Moscow ties.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday night that Moscow regrets the new US bans, and will consider retaliatory measures.
He added that President Vladimir Putin will decide on Russia's response to the US move, stressing that the Russian retaliation will be "adequate" and "based on the principles of reciprocity."
Peskov then expressed doubt over the effectiveness of the anti-Russia measures given the fact that US President Barack Obama is stepping down in three weeks.
He also said Moscow is not sure whether President-elect Donald Trump would approve the new sanctions.
Peskov noted that the measures signal Obama's "unpredictable" and "aggressive foreign policy."
"Such steps of the US administration that has three weeks left to work are aimed at two things: to further harm Russian-American ties, which are at a low point as it is, as well as, obviously, deal a blow on the foreign policy plans of the incoming administration of the president-elect," Peskov added.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova censured the new US sanctions against her country, saying Obama has humiliated the American people by his latest move.
"Today America, the American people were humiliated by their own president. Not by international terrorists, not by enemy's troops. This time Washington was slapped by own master, who has complicated the urgent tasks for the incoming team in the extreme," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.
She vowed that "official statements, countermeasures and much more" would come from Moscow on Friday.
According to statements from the White House and the Treasury Department, the Thursday sanctions target Russia's FSB and GRU intelligence agencies, four individual GRU officers, and three companies that allegedly provided support to the GRU, and two Russian individuals for using cyber-attacks to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information.
The United States has also expelled 35 Russian "intelligence operatives," giving them 72 hours to leave the country.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team