After the U.S. announced new sanctions to be put on Russia, the Kremlin has called the penalties “illegal and do not correspond to international law.”
These new sanctions, which will be imposed later this month, come in response to Russia’s illegal use of a chemical weapon in an attempt to kill a former spy and his daughter in Britain earlier this year.
“Such decisions taken by the American side are absolutely unfriendly and can hardly be somehow associated with the constructive — not simple but constructive — atmosphere that there was at the last meeting of the two presidents,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Reuters.
Peskov added that “anything could be expected” now that the U.S. is now an unpredictable international force.
Despite efforts to improve relations between the U.S. and Russia, President Donald Trump is under pressure to show that he is “tough on Russia” before the mid-term elections, Reuters reported.
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that Russia is “never going to be our friend” following Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland last month.
“We don’t trust Russia. We don’t trust Putin. We never will. They’re never going to be our friend. That’s just a fact,” Haley told Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.
“I think going to Helsinki and having the conversation was something that was a long time coming,” she said. “There were a lot of grievances that needed to be aired. There were a lot of challenges that we needed to discuss, and I think the president did that.”
But in the weeks following the meeting, the State Department said this week that the U.S. made the determination that Russia had used the Novichok nerve agent to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, and that sanctions would follow. The sanctions will reportedly take effect on or around Aug. 22 after the finding is published in the Federal Register.
Those sanctions will include the presumed denial of export licenses for Russia to purchase many items with national security implications, according to a senior State Department official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to do so by name.
The U.S. is joining Britain in condemning Russia for the poisoning, though Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.
Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center and a former colonel in the Russian army, responded to the State Department’s latest move on Twitter.
Moscow’s Foreign Ministry said that Moscow is working on retaliatory measures “in the same spirit” as any U.S. sanctions.
Despite lawmakers’ calls for the president to be tougher on Russia, Trump has insisted that he has been “far tougher on Russia than any president in many, many years.”
“Look at the sanctions I threw on. Look at the diplomats I threw out. Look at all of the things that I’ve done,” he said in an interview with CNBC in July.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.