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Putin ponders whether Russia should ‘reciprocate’ Biden’s new sanctions as Kremlin insists economy robust despite US measures

Putin ponders whether Russia should ‘reciprocate’ Biden’s new sanctions as Kremlin insists economy robust despite US measures
Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering options for a response to new economic sanctions against the country, imposed this week by Washington over claims of hacking and election interference, his spokesman has announced.

Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday that “the principle of reciprocity in this matter hasn’t been canceled,” implying that Moscow could soon put in place its own measures against the US. However, he cautioned that “everything now depends on the decision taken by the head of state,” and that no approach had yet been agreed.

Peskov also revealed that the Kremlin had informed the US ambassador in Moscow that the country would take a series of steps in response to the sanctions, but gave no further details on what these might be.

Also on rt.com US imposes new sanctions against Russia, expels ten diplomats & targets national debt in move Moscow may view as major escalation

American President Joe Biden signed an order on Thursday, banning many US financial institutions from directly purchasing shares in Russian sovereign debt. According to Peskov, the two leaders “do not see eye to eye on how best to build a mutually beneficial relationship, taking into account each other’s interests.” The Kremlin official added that “the pro-sanctions bias” in Washington was causing tensions.

However, Peskov insisted that the fundamentals of the Russian economy were unaffected by the move. “Macroeconomic stability is fully ensured,” he said, “and the efficiency of our economic bloc is recognized internationally. We have no reason to doubt this state of affairs.”

READ MORE: Biden calls for de-escalation of tensions with Russia following sanctions over unproven charges of hacking & election meddling

Under the terms of the sanctions, dozens of Russian firms and officials will face new restrictions, with the US also announcing that 10 of Moscow’s diplomats would be expelled from the country.

The White House defended the move as a response to allegations that Russia interfered in the 2020 US presidential election, and was behind the colossal SolarWinds hack that saw the networks of nine separate American government departments penetrated by hackers. The Kremlin has staunchly denied both sets of claims.

In the hours after the announcement, Biden sought to play down the situation, claiming the new measures were “proportionate.”

“Now is the time to de-escalate,” he said. “The way forward is through thoughtful dialogue and diplomatic process. The US is prepared to move forward constructively with that process.”

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