Russia will respond to fresh US sanctions: Official
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee meet in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Facing a stumbling economy at home and increasingly biting Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin sought Thursday to strengthen once-close relationship with India through an ambitious plan to help New Delhi build at least 12 new nuclear reactors. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)Russia will respond to fresh sanctions from the United States, deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said Dec. 13 after US lawmakers passed a bill to impose new penalties on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.
"Undoubtedly, we will not be able to leave this without a response," Ryabkov told Interfax news agency.
Ryabkov blamed "anti-Russian moods" in the United States for the passing of a bill on Dec. 12 allowing Washington to provide lethal military assistance to Ukraine and threatening fresh sanctions against Russia.
"We are of course concerned at the way the mood is running on Capitol Hill," Ryabkov said.
"We see the passing by both houses the above legislative act as yet another demonstration of anti-Russian moods and attempts to dictate decisions to us that for us are categorically unacceptable."
He said that he expected Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the matter with US Secretary of State John Kerry when they meet in Rome on Dec. 15.
Relations between Russia and the United States are at their lowest since the Cold War because of Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March and its support for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
The West says it has firm evidence that Russia has armed the rebels - an accusation that Moscow rejects - and has, together with the European Union, imposed several rounds of economic sanctions on Russian individuals and large companies.
Russia retaliated to the earlier sanctions by restricting food imports from a range of Western countries.
Russia on Dec. 12 criticised the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, which foresees further sanctions, saying Washington was doing its utmost to "destroy the carcass of cooperation" between the two countries.