Sunday, April 14, 2024

Russia promises strong response to US sanctions

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has warned Moscow will respond strongly to new anti-Russia sanctions imposed by Washington. It stressed the measures taken by the White House run counter to American interests.

“There should be no doubts – the sanctions will result in a strong response, not necessarily symmetric, but well-calculated and painful for the American side,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Moscow also stressed that the American sanctions policy is counterproductive, but that it has also become a reflex for Washington.

“Russia has proved that, despite all the costs, we are able to minimise the damage. And even more so, sanctions pressure can’t affect our determination to defend our interests,” the statement read, noting that this round of anti-Russian sanctions (101st) will not achieve its goal.

The statement comes in response to sanctions imposed by Washington on Tuesday. The restrictions target Russia’s sovereign debt, as well as several banks and individuals following Moscow officially recognising the two Donbass republics, the DPR and LPR, as independent states, and urging Ukrainian forces to stop the escalation in the region.

In response to US sanctions on Russia’s sovereign debt, the Russian Ministry of Finance has also announced measures that it said will ensure the stability of its access to debt markets.

The ministry announced it has enough money available — more than 4.5 trillion rubles (around $56 billion) — to ensure that it can be flexible in borrowing money and selling new government debt. In the coming weeks, Russian government bond auctions will be restricted and will take into account the market situation, it added.

The ministry’s reserves are more than double the planned net borrowing for 2002 of 2.2 trillion rubles ($27 billion), and it also said that the measures along with those taken by the Russian central bank on Tuesday will “facilitate a smoother adaptation” to the sanctions.

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov has also stated Moscow needs to see which sanctions the European Union plans to impose on it before elaborating its response.

EU foreign diplomacy chief Josep Borrell noted earlier on Tuesday that the European Union has unanimously approved a new package of anti-Russian sanctions following its decision to recognize the Donbass republics.

“First, we need to see what these sanctions are about,” Peskov noted when asked whether Moscow would prepare measures in response.

On Wednesday, Russian media reported Moscow has begun evacuating personnel from all of its diplomatic facilities in Ukraine.

Moscow’s embassy in Kyiv confirmed the evacuations were under way, TASS reported. Russia also has consulates in Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv.

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