Moscow reacts to US sanctions
Russia’s foreign ministry warned in a statement on Wednesday that there will be “a strong response” to new US sanctions. President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that Washington would impose punitive measures on Russia for its formal recognition of two breakaway Ukrainian regions as independent nations.
“There shouldn’t be any doubt – there will be a strong response, not necessarily symmetrical, but a calculated one whose impact the US will feel,” Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned.
Russia’s response points out that Moscow sees Washington's latest move as a “continuation of America’s attempts to change Russia’s course.” It also notes that the US persists with sanctions “despite the obvious futility of the efforts undertaken for many years” in its bid to hinder Russia’s economic development.
The ministry pointed out that Russia has proven that it can “minimize the impact” of punitive measures. If the US expects its sanctions to “affect Russia’s determination to defend its interests,” it is in for a disappointment, as that will never happen, it added.
On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden announced the imposition of economic sanctions on some of Russia’s largest financial institutions along with “Russia’s elite and [their] family members.” Washington also warned Moscow that it would face yet more punitive measures should it “go further” with what Biden claimed was an “invasion” of Ukraine.
Biden’s announcement came off the back of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision late on Monday to recognize the Donbass’ two breakaway republics as independent nations. On Tuesday, the Russian parliament granted Putin the authority to deploy Russian military personnel overseas; however, no decision regarding a peacekeeping mission in the Donbass has been announced yet.
The crisis in Ukraine began in 2014, following the events of the Maidan, when violent street protests toppled the democratically elected government. This led to a conflict in the east of the country, as two regions broke from Kiev’s control and declared themselves to be the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics.