According to Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, Moscow is considering reciprocal measures in response to the US’ new “draconian” sanctions.
“Our responsive measures are being worked out now. We have said that, unfortunately, we have once again been compelled to respond reciprocally instead of thinking about how to improve and bring relations out of their impasse. We say this openly and publicly,” Zakharova told Russian media while on a diplomatic visit to Belgrade, Serbia.
According to Zakharova, the US’ newest sanctions against Russia follow a trend of tough sanctions against the DPRK, Iran, and even the US’ partner, the European Union.
“It’s not about Russia,” Zakharova explained, “It’s that perhaps the US simply understands that they are losing resources for further development, those very resources which they’ve needed to escape the regular crises that, indeed, the world is experiencing. These resources are depleted, but more and more are needed, and real expansion – political, financial, economic – is needed, which we all see.”
Zakharova’s words seem to suggest that Washington’s sanctions policy is desperate compensation for declining US hegemony.
Zakharova’s comments follow a phone call between Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on which the Russian foreign ministry has released a statement that reads: “The Russian side expressed its categorical rejection of Washington’s new sanctions recently announced over alleged information that Russia was involved in the so-called ‘Skripal affair.’”
Lavrov stressed that the US and UK have not presented a single fact supporting allegations since the incident in Salisbury in March – nor has any other country.
These statements by the spokeswoman and head of Russia’s foreign ministry come on the heels of yesterday’s news that Putin assembled his Security Council, consisting of Russia’s leading military and intelligence officials, to discuss the sanctions. The nature of the meeting suggested that Russia’s response to the US’ “Skripal sanctions” might not be limited to the economic sphere.
Zakharova’s statement suggests that Moscow is also working on symmetrical sanctions as well.
Meanwhile, Putin’s press spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has called the sanctions illegal, unacceptable, and “absolutely hostile.”