Russian officials have warned that a new round of sanctions by the United States against Russia
will backfire as it harms the interests of both nations.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Russia was carefully watching the course of events that could lead to a new round of sanctions by the US Congress on Moscow over alleged meddling in Ukraine.
“We consider such a continuation of the rhetoric of sanctions counterproductive and harmful to the interests of both countries,” said Peskov, adding that it was too early to speak about any potential countermeasure from Russia as reports suggest US President Donald Trump is still undecided on signing off on the Congress bill, which is expected to pass through on Tuesday.
Democrat and Republican senators in the US House of Representatives have reportedly reached an agreement on approving the bill to impose tough sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea.
The text was overwhelmingly passed in the Senate in mid-June, but it stalled in the House over concerns that Trump would resist endorsing the bill.
The current legislation, however, would place Trump under Congress’s watch and would prevent him from unilaterally easing penalties against Moscow in the future. That comes against the backdrop of reports about an alleged collusion between Trump’s aides and the Russian government during last year’s presidential elections in the US. White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has said that Trump is still weighing a decision on the issue.
US President Donald Trump speaks during the commissioning ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford in Norfolk, Virginia, on July 22, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Ties between Russia and the US hit lows during the final years in office of former US president Barack Obama.
The US and its allies in Europe
imposed economic and military sanctions on Russia after the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea held a referendum in 2014 and rejoined Russia.
The sanctions have been extended several times.
Obama also ordered the closure of several Russian diplomatic missions in the US and expelled dozens of Russian diplomats after reports emerged about Moscow’s alleged backing for hacking operations that undermined Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s chances in last year’s election.