Russians promise ‘strong and painful’ response to US sanctions

The tension is at its peak. Russia promised a “strong” and “painful” response on Wednesday to the American sanctions announced by Washington after recognition by Moscow from the separatist regions of Ukraine.

“There should be no doubt that there will be a strong response to sanctions, not necessarily symmetrical, but well-calculated and painful for the US side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

First tranche of sanctions

The United States on Tuesday announced a “first tranche” of economic sanctions aimed at cutting Russia off from access to Western funding, warning that additional measures were “on the table” in the event of a Russian “escalation” in Ukraine. . The entire Russian banking sector could be targeted by sanctions, a US official has warned.

“Russia has proven that it is capable of minimizing the harm inflicted, regardless of the costs of the sanctions”, reacted Russian diplomacy in its press release, stressing that “the pressures of sanctions cannot influence the Russian will to firmly defend its interests.

If it denounces the “blackmail and intimidation” on the part of Washington, Russia always remains “open to diplomacy based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and taking into account mutual interests”, adds the press release. .

Still modest measures

Sanctions have also been announced by the European Union, Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany and Great Britain. In particular, Berlin froze the gigantic Nord Stream II gas pipeline project, which was to bring even more Russian gas to Germany.

These measures remain modest for the moment compared to those promised in the event of an invasion and Russia can boast of having accumulated nearly 640 billion dollars in its foreign exchange reserves and 183 billion in its sovereign wealth fund to deal with them. .

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