Putin Cool to Idea of More Retaliatory Sanctions Against US

Russian FM Warns Sanctions War Counterproductive

Officials familiar with the situation say that the ongoing tit-for-tat sanctions between Russia and the US are likely over for the time being, at least on the Russian side, as President Putin is rejecting calls for more retaliation.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry urged the US not to make any more hostile actions either, warning that imposing yet more sanctions would not serve America’s interest and was an irresponsible threat to bilateral ties.

As a practical matter, the sanctions on both sides have had little to no realĀ  impact, and even the US sanctions against “wealthy Russians” were blunted by apparent anticipation on that side, with billionaire Gennady Timchenko selling all his shares in a US firm the day before the sanctions came out.

Russia’s central bank has similarly promised to back the sanctioned Rossiya Bank, which President Putin suggested he wants to open an account at now that it is a target. If anything, the sanctions might serve as a publicity coup for the company.

On both sides that’s been the story so far, with US hawks bonding over inclusion on a Russian travel ban list, and Russian officials similarly united by being part of the “targeted” faction.

The one practical harm the sanctions have done is Visa and MasterCard cutting ties with Russia’s SMP bank, which is odd because the bank wasn’t actually sanctioned. Rather, the companies appear to have acted unilaterally because some of the sanctioned “wealthy Russians” owned stock in the bank.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.