Thursday, July 17, 2014

Russia Calls US Sanctions ‘Blackmail’

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the latest round of U.S. sanctions on Russia will stall bilateral relations and hurt U.S. businesses as well as Russian ones. Putin made his televised comments during a visit to Brazil, just hours after President Barack Obama announced new sanctions on Russian banks and energy companies based on Moscow's support of the pro-Russian separatist rebellion in Ukraine.
"[Sanctions] have a boomerang effect and without any doubt they will push U.S.-Russian relations into a dead end, and cause very serious damage, and I am sure that this also damages national long-term strategic interests of the U.S. government and the U.S. people,” said Putin. Separately, Russia's foreign ministry said Thursday that Russia will not tolerate "blackmail" from the United States and reserves the right to take retaliatory measures. It accused the European Union of submitting to pressure from the U.S. to impose sanctions as well. Obama, speaking Wednesday at the White House, said he has repeatedly urged Moscow to take key steps to ease the crisis, and that Russia so far has failed to meet any of the U.S. recommendations.

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