According to the Russian President’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, today Vladimir Putin discussed the US’ new sanctions against Russia with the Russian Security Council.
The participants reportedly agreed that Washington’s actions completely contradict international law.
Putin’s discussion partners included State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodon, the head of the Kremlin administration, Anton Vayno, Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, defense minister Sergei Shoigu, and FSB director Aleksandr Bortnikov.
This means that Russia’s whole military and intelligence command has been mobilized to discuss the latest American sanctions.
The latest US sanctions against Russia were announced by the State Department earlier this week as for “Russia’s use of chemical warfare in Salisbury,” by which is meant the infamous “Skripal case” from March, in which Moscow was accused of poisoning the double-agent Sergei Skripal, who was exchanged with London in 2010.
Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations that it is behind the alleged poisoning and has called for an objective investigation. London, Washington and their allies, however, have launched a diplomatic and sanctions war on Moscow without agreeing to cooperatively look into the alleged incident.
Washington’s new sanctions are the latest offensive in the “Skripal affair.” They consist of two packages: one which will enter into force within 15 days and which will ban imports of Russian electronic devices and dual-use products.
The second wave of sanctions, which has a 90 day launch period, includes diplomatic restricts, such as prohibiting Aeroflot flights to the US and a virtual cessation of US exports to Russia.
These sanctions come with an ultimatum: Washington has stated that it will abandon the second sanctions package if Russia can provide guarantees that it has not engaged in chemical warfare and will allow UN observers to conduct inspections.
The Kremlin has stated that the new American sanctions are illegal and “categorically unacceptable.”
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called the sanctions offensive a “declaration of economic war.”
Putin’s convening of the Security Council to discuss Washington’s new sanctions suggests that Moscow is calculating a response which, given the council meeting’s military-intelligence make-up, might include measures not restricted to the economic sphere.