Vladimir Putin: Russia may 'have to retaliate' against USA sanctions

Putin travels to Finland for talks amid naval exercises
New sanctions: Putin promised a response to the”insolence” american
Author

29 July, 2017

If the USA adopts new anti-Russian sanctions, this will be an obvious attempt by Washington to use its geopolitical advantages in competitive struggle, Russia's President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday during a state visit to Finland, as cited by state-run news agency TASS.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration continues to support strong sanctions against Russia, North Korea and Iran, adding "we're going to wait and see what that final legislation looks like and make a decision at that point".

During a trip to Finland, Mr. Putin said US sanctions passed by the House of Representatives and expected to be approved by the Senate this week would force the Kremlin to respond. It is, however, expected to garner enough support to override a Trump veto.

He dismissed Congressional investigations into Russia's alleged meddling in last year's USA presidential election, calling them a symptom of growing anti-Russian hysteria in the United States and a result of U.S. domestic politics.

In his remarks، Putin said investigations into alleged collusion between Russian officials and Trump's campaign aides in last year's elections were a sign of "a rise in anti-Russian hysteria" in the US.

Putin, who has repeatedly denied U.S. allegations that Russian Federation interfered with last year's United States presidential election, said Moscow would only decide on how to retaliate against Washington once it had seen the final text of the proposed law.

Mr Trump's concerns include a provision letting Congress stop any effort to ease existing sanctions on Russian Federation.

The rare bipartisan vote in the House overwhelmingly passed a set of measures meant to punish Russian Federation after the USA intelligence community concluded Moscow tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Putin said Moscow would only decide on how to retaliate once it had seen the final text of the proposed law.

Russian Federation has been under a series of U.S. sanctions since a crisis began in Ukraine in 2014.

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Russian Federation has warned it could retaliate if the legislation is passed, and the European Union said the new sanctions might affect its energy security and prompt it to act, too.

"It's very sad that US-Russian relations are being sacrificed to resolve internal policy issues in the U.S", said Putin.

Although Trump has repeatedly spoken of a desire for improved relations with Russian Federation, the electoral interference allegations have prompted Democrats and Republicans to unite in support of tougher sanctions.

"He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians", he said.

New sanctions could cloud Russia's economic outlook just as the economy is showing growth potential for the first time in three years.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia's energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow's benefit. "That doesn't make any sense", said Edward Fishman, a former State Department official during the Obama administration who worked on USA sanctions policy.

"As you know, we are behaving very calmly and patiently but we will have to respond at a certain point. It's impossible to endlessly tolerate this boorishness towards our country".

"If it is really the case [approval of sanctions], this arouses deep regrets because such actions imply aggravating circumstances and special cynicism", he said at a press conferences after talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

"This practice is unacceptable - it is destroying global relations and worldwide law", Putin said in reference to the "transnational character of US legislation".


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