Russian President Vladimir Putin was highly critical of the US Senate’s vote this past week to impose a new round of sanctions against Russia, cautioning that it would “complicate Russia-American relations” and would be very harmful to bilateral ties.
At the same time, Putin cautioned against speculation of any Russian retaliatory action, saying it was premature to get into this discussion without seeing how the US talk of sanctions actually pans out. While the sanctions passed 97-2 in the Senate, they have yet to be addressed in the House.
On top of that, EU nations, particularly Germany, have been very critical of the proposed sanctions threatening to target investors in Russia’s energy sector, as Europe is heavily dependent on Russia for natural gas. This has already fueled German threats of retaliations over the move.
Germany’s threats are likely much more impactful than Russia’s at any rate, given how little direct trade the US and Russia engage in in the first place, and in withholding comment on the matter Putin may be attempting to keep the focus of the debate within the US on fallout with Germany and other EU members, rather than Russia directly being unhappy with the idea.
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