‘Bordering racketeering’: Kremlin slams US sanctions bill as act of unfair competition
Top Moscow officials have lashed out at a new US “bill from hell” which imposes sanctions on Russia’s banking and energy industry, but said the country is well prepared to face the “racketeering” penalties.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democrat Bob Menendez, is based on a “precise, pragmatic and aggressive trade policy which has nothing to do with international trading rules,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
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This policy is sometimes bordering racketeering
As Washington continues to pile pressure on Moscow, the Russian government is weighing up “a number of efficient measures” to protect “against these attacks.”
Russia’s economy, Peskov suggested, adapted to the existing sanctions and even managed to grow “despite those unfair restrictions.”
The US pursuit of sanctions is unlikely to end soon, he admitted, saying Russia may “hope for better” but “prepare for worse.” Given the current sentiments in the US Congress, there’s no hope for “some improvement in our relations or, at least, a sustainable remission of the Russophobic disease.”
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said current and coming sanctions are no excuse for not boosting economic growth. While acknowledging that “our economy has serious structural imbalances,” he said his government is pushing for modernizing Russia’s infrastructure, education and healthcare.
The sanctions bill, which still has to be signed into law by Donald Trump, habitually mentions the alleged Russian meddling in US elections and its “aggression” against Ukraine. It demands that the president address, among other Moscow’s sins, “the threat posed by the Government of the Russian Federation.”
Many of the bill’s other measures were carried over from Graham and Menendez’s failed legislation last year. It includes a statement of support for NATO and a two-thirds Senate vote to leave the bloc, as well as weapons shipments to any NATO countries that rely on Russian military equipment.
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