Russian prime minister warns U.S. against ramping up sanctions

Howard TerryAug 11, 2018

The surprise sanctions, in line with USA law that obliges action if chemical or biological weapons have been used, saw the value of Russia's rouble plunge to a two-year low.

Under the terms of the sanctions, any attempt by a USA company to obtain an export licence to sell anything with a potential national security goal - gas turbine engines, electronics, integrated circuits and testing and calibration equipment - will be automatically denied.

Since Russia's reaction suggests it will not take such steps, the administration will have to choose from additional sanctions.

Respond in kind, or go asymmetrical?

Senior Russian lawmaker Vyacheslav Nikonov said a second set of sanctions may be inevitable and predicted it would pitch relations to a new low. "Russian Federation will have to brace for more to come over the next several years, prepare for the worst and push back where it can".

"There are a number of measures that it can implement to hurt the USA rather badly".

While the United States expelled some five dozen diplomats shortly after the poisoning, the administration stopped short of making a formal determination that Russian Federation had broken global law. "This would be with respect to whether or not we approve an export licence of technology that could be used by or provided to Aeroflot". "They are trying to say that however bad it gets, the government isn't going to be borrowing much money, it will not be requiring financing from overseas".

Moscow has been trying with mixed success to improve battered US-Russia ties since Donald Trump won the White House in 2016.

"The economic war requires a strategic decision from the Americans, and they have already made it clear that while Russian Federation has the current president at its helm, there will be no improvement in relations with Russian Federation", the expert said.

Yet the experts believe that a more practical response would be asymmetrical.

Medvedev said that while the US describes the restrictions are punishment for Russia's "bad" behavior, he thinks the real goal is to sideline a rival.

"There are actions to directly counter United States sanctions directed against other countries, such as Iran and North Korea. We work on cooperative things where it is possible to do so, and we cry foul when it's necessary to do so".

David Kotz, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, suggests looking instead to the east.

"Russia is more prepared", said Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital.

For the last time in Washington was announced several anti-sanctions initiatives.

Ms Zakharova said the United States was "knowingly presenting demands that are unacceptable to us" as conditions for the sanctions to be lifted.

Economists expect the Russian economy to grow by 1.8 percent this year.

But the Trump administration actually could have moved more aggressively, and it's only doing what's required by law.

Trump and Putin may meet on the sidelines of an global conference at some point, the Russian government had said, but the upshot of Friday's back-and-forth was that both leaders want another bilateral summit as well at some point. "But in any case, there are no winners here".

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