Countries that have encountered the lawlessness of the U.S. sanctions, including Iran and Russia, will defend their interests, this should be met with understanding,
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.
“Overall, we consider such sanctions policy short-sighted, illegal and unpromising.
“Therefore, of course, all countries intend to defend their interests, all countries which have encountered such lawlessness intend to and will defend their interests, this should be met with understanding.
“The fact that Russia will defend its interests and protect its interests should not be surprising to anyone, of course,” Peskov told reporters.
Also speaking, Peskov said the U.S. can and must use its influence on Kiev to make the Ukrainian authorities to implement the Minsk agreements.
“You know that the U.S. is not a participant of the Normandy format, but, of course, from our viewpoint, [the United States] can and must use its influence in order to induce Ukraine to fulfill the political part of the Minsk agreements,” he said
Peskov made this known when reporters asked what message the Kremlin wanted to convey to US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, expected to soon arrive in Russia.
He also said that Russia, when choosing routes for the transportation of energy resources, proceeds from economic expediency, it remains a reliable guarantor of energy security for consumers in Europe.
Peskov said: “We are not talking about politics, but about business. If it is economically expedient to focus on certain transportation routes, then we will do so.
“We have always said that Russia was, is and will remain a reliable guarantor of the energy security of its consumers, including In Europe, and will do everything necessary for this.”
NAN reports that the new sanctions bill hits Russia’s energy and defense sectors, and also includes fresh sanctions against Iran and North Korea.
It comes amid increasing tension between the US and Russia, dating back to the last days of the Barack Obama administration, when the then President ordered the seizure of two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to alleged election meddling by Moscow.
Since the new sanctions were mooted, Russia has responded by ordering the U.S. to cut staff at its diplomatic missions in the country by 755 employees, as well as seizing two US diplomatic properties.
In a statement Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it “reserves the right to other countermeasures” in response to the new sanctions and called the sanctions “regrettable”, “short-sighted” and “dangerous.”
The measure was signed into law after it passed with overwhelming margins in both the House and Senate, which made the threat of a presidential veto a non-starter, but it was not an easy road to Trump’s desk.
After the Senate passed the sanctions on Iran and Russia 98 to two, the bill languished in the House for more than a month amid a series of procedural fights.
Then the House added North Korean sanctions before passing the measure 419 to three, effectively forcing the Senate to swallow the new sanctions in order to get the legislation over the finish line before Congress left for its August. (Sputnik/NAN)