Category: Vladimir Putin
Biden vs. Vlad the Impaler
worker | June 15, 2021 | 7:42 pm | Joe Biden, Russia, Struggle for Peace, Vladimir Putin | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202106141083147091-biden-vs-vlad-the-impaler/

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Both sides acknowledge that relations between the United States and Russia are at an abject low point. And both sides have said they want to make relations better. But who is actually making a positive effort to reduce tensions and give peace a chance?

It should be obvious that the Russian side is the only party that is acting responsibly and with a generous spirit of trying to improve bilateral relations.

President Vladimir Putin says he hopes to open personal communications with American counterpart Joe Biden when they meet for their summit in Geneva on Wednesday. The Russian leader has played down expectations of a breakthrough, but nevertheless, his stated aspiration is for a productive detente.

There is little to no reciprocation of benign spirit from the American side. Biden and his aides may say the US does not want a conflict with Russia. But apart from that rhetorical concession, the Americans are pushing aggression and making the Geneva meeting sound like a showdown.

The unwillingness of the US president to hold a joint press conference with Putin following their private discussions is a telling sign of the obnoxious American attitude.

There are two reasons why Biden doesn’t want to appear side by side with Putin in front of the world.

The first is he would not be able to handle Putin’s intelligent arguments and criticism of American policy. Joe Biden’s mental faculties are in serious doubt following well-publicized gaffes and missteps of forgetting names and incoherent speech. Not meaning to sound cruel, but Putin would demolish Biden in a public discussion.

Biden and the entire American political establishment constantly accuse Putin and Russia of malign conduct, everything from being a “killer” to interfering in elections, cyberattacks and threatening the national security of the US and its allies.

The depiction is a fantasy based on Russophobia and bigoted prejudice. As Putin pointed out in a recent US media interview: there is no evidence ever presented to back up these wild pejorative claims. It is all unsubstantiated, rabid nonsense.

If Putin was on the same public platform as Biden, we can be sure that the veil of lies would be torn from the American facade of acting tough and sanctimonious. Biden would be left quivering and mumbling like an impotent idiot. Indeed, any American politician would be since they are all brainwashed idiots bloated from their own propaganda.

Thus, the world would see in a wonderful moment just how ridiculously naked the American emperor is and all his NATO minions are.

The second reason for why Biden could not abide standing alongside Putin is that that image confounds the American propaganda of demonizing “Vlad the Impaler”. Any appearance of a smiling Putin in a normal friendly setting with Biden would undermine the narrative of Putin-the-bogeyman.

That’s why the meeting has to be held in private and afterward the Americans can spin some account of the talks to make themselves sound morally superior by claiming to have brought up concerns about  “human rights” and “malign behavior”. We can be sure if Biden dares to act self-righteous, Putin will deftly slam the absurd hypocrisy.

But it’s also vital for the American side to portray the encounter as a showdown between a good guy and a bad guy. The charade only works if kept in private.

At least in the past, Ronald Reagan was photographed having convivial fireside talks with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev when they met in Geneva in 1985 and produced a landmark arms control treaty. To his credit, too, Donald Trump held a joint press conference with Putin when the pair met in Helsinki in 2018 and there was no acrimony.

 

But Biden, like most American politicians and media, is full of stupid antipathy towards Putin and the Kremlin. He warned menacingly last week he’s going to tell Putin “what he knows”. Biden says the Russian leader “needs to change his behavior” if there is to be any improvement in relations. 

It’s going to be very difficult to engage in productive dialogue when the American mindset is so indoctrinated with false propaganda.

Some observers may wonder is there any point in Putin meeting Biden under those circumstances? After all, it was Biden who invited Putin to meet him.

The willingness of the Russian side to engage – in spite of the American animosity – is a clear sign of political maturity and generosity to try to create a more peaceful world. The onus is on the Americans to change their behavior and stop malign conduct. That’s the real challenge.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

NATO Drills, Cyberattacks, & Navalny: Highlights of Putin’s NBC Interview Ahead of Summit With Biden
worker | June 14, 2021 | 9:01 pm | China, Vladimir Putin | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/world/202106141083144978-putin-dismisses-absurd-claims-of-russias-interference-in-cyberattacks-against-us-in-nbc-interview/

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A series of high-profile cyberattacks have hit US facilities over the past few months, including a ransomware attack against a major gas pipeline and a meat-producing giant. Washington has accused hackers operating in Russia as being behind both attacks.

US claims of Russian hackers or the Russian government of being behind cyberattacks in the United States are absurd, Russian President Vladimir Putin told NBC in a wide-ranging interview on Monday.

“We have been accused of all kinds of things”, Putin said. “Election interference, cyberattacks, and so on and so forth. And not once, not once, not one time, did they bother to produce any kind of evidence or proof. Just unfounded accusations”.

The Russian president reiterated Moscow’s calls to cooperate in the fight against cybercrime, raising hope that the two sides “will be able to set up this process”.

He expressed concern that the United States, being a high-tech country, has the capability and intent to target Russia.

“The US is a high-tech country, NATO has declared cyberspace an area of combat, it means they are planning something, they are preparing something. So, obviously, this cannot but worry us. I’m not afraid, but I bear in mind that it is a possibility”, he told NBC.

A major US fuel transporting facility Colonial Pipeline was targeted by a ransomware attack on 7 May, which triggered a gas outage crisis across a handful of US states. The attack was attributed to an unknown group of allegedly Russian-speaking hackers. However, President Joe Biden said on several occasions that there was no evidence Russia was involved.

Just weeks later, a cyberattack on an international company and the world’s largest meat producer, JBS Foods, led to the temporary closure of all of its beef factories in the United States. The US administration said it believes some of the members of the hacker groups reside in Russia.

Navalny’s ‘Poisoning’

Answering interviewer Keir Simmons’ question about Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin said Russia was not in the habit of assassinating people, denying ordering him killed.

When the NBC journalist suggested that Navalny was not just any prisoner, the Russian president said: “He will not be treated any worse than anybody else”.

In January, Navalny returned to Moscow from Berlin after receiving medical treatment for an alleged poisoning. The activist was arrested upon arrival and referred to a court, which in February rescinded his suspended sentence in the 2014 Yves Rocher fraud case over multiple probation breaches and replaced it with a 3.5-year term behind bars. A Moscow city court reinstated the ruling but reduced the sentence to 2.5 years.

The Russian president stated that he would consider a prisoner exchange with the United States as there are more Russians in US prisons than Americans in Russian jails.

“I know we have certain US citizens who are in prison after [being] convicted. But if one considers the number of Russian Federation citizens who are in US prisons than these numbers don’t even compare”, he said.

He said that US prison administration ignored health problems of former Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year sentence in the United States.

“He has major health issues, but the prison administration is not paying attention to this. You have mentioned that your citizen has coronavirus [Trevor Reed], but nobody’s paying attention to the health issues of our citizen [Yaroshenko]”, Putin said.

Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in 2010 on suspicion of drug trafficking. He was extradited to the US and sentenced to 20 years in prison a year later, allegedly for taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle a large amount of drugs into the country. Yaroshenko has denied all charges.

NATO Activities Near Russia’s Borders

In response to the interviewer’s question about Russia’s troop movements near the Ukrainian border, Putin hit back saying that the nation carries out its military exercises on its own soil, whereas NATO routinely conducts manoeuvres near the Russian border.

“Imagine if we sent our troops into direct proximity to your borders”, Putin said. “What would have been your response?”

Putin dubbed NATO a relic of the Cold War-era, adding he is not “sure why it still continues to exist”.

Moscow, has repeatedly expressed concern regarding an increased NATO military presence in Europe, including the Alliance’s ongoing eastward expansion.

The Kremlin has also underscored that Russia poses no threat to other nations, but it will not ignore actions that endanger its national interests.

Russia-US Space Cooperation Still On

Putin denied that Russia was planning to end its cooperation with the United States in space, insisting that one of the last remaining areas of common interest between the two countries was still on despite threats to the contract from his space agency chief.

“I think you just misunderstood”, Putin said when asked about reports that Moscow planned to withdraw from the International Space Station project. “We are interested in continuing work with the US in this direction, and we will continue to do so if our US partners don’t refuse to do that”.

Russia is open to cooperation with other countries in space but strongly opposes militarisation in this area, President Vladimir Putin said.

“We don’t rule out cooperation with many world nations in space. But probably everybody knows very well our position in terms that we are categorically against space militarisation altogether”, Putin said.

Putin said Moscow believes that space should be free from any and all kinds of weapons located in near-Earth orbits.

“We don’t have these kinds of plans or any plans, especially concerning the transfer of technology of the level that you have just described”, the Russian president added.

Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin said last week that Russia might revise its decision to withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) and build its own orbital station if the United States lifts sanctions.

Sino-Russian Relations

The Russian president told NBC that he sees attempts to destroy the relationship between Russia and China, who are bonded by what he described as a “strategic partnership”.

“I will tell you completely honestly … We can see attempts at destroying the relationship between Russia and China. We can see that those attempts are being made in practical policies. We are pleased with the level of our relationship which as I said is unprecedentedly high as it has developed over the last few decades. And we cherish it. Just like our Chinese friends cherish it”, he said.

He added that he did not see any threats coming from Russia’s neighbour China.

“We do not believe that China is a threat to us. That’s one. China is a friendly nation. It has not declared us an enemy, as the United States has done”, he said when asked whether he was concerned about China’s militarisation.

Putin said Russia had developed an unprecedented strategic partnership with China across a wide range of areas, from politics and economy to the defense industry.

Asked whether Russia’s decision to quit the ISS space station project meant it was splitting off from the US space programme and moving forward with China, Putin said that Moscow was ready to work together with both Washington and Beijing.

“We will continue to do so if our US partners don’t refuse to do that. It doesn’t mean that we need to work exclusively with the US. We have been working and will continue to work with China, which applies to all kinds of programmes, including exploring deep space”, he said.

On Taiwan, which China considers its territory, Putin said that he had no knowledge of China’s purported plans to make a military move on the island nation. He declined to speculate what Russia would do if China invaded Taiwan, saying there was no “could be” and “would be” in politics.

Ryanair Incident

It was the Ryanair pilot’s decision to land the plane in Belarus, and even if he was forced to do so by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, it was only because the latter was inspired by the US’ 2013 grounding of the Bolivian president’s plane, Putin remarked.

“The pilot made a decision to land in Minsk. That is all. Why should I not believe him? Ask the pilot. It’s the simplest thing. Ask the chief pilot. Ask the commander of the aircraft. Did you ask him if was he forced to land? Because I have not heard or seen an interview with the commander of the aircraft that landed in Minsk. Why not ask him? … Everybody accuses Lukashenko, but the pilot hasn’t been asked”, Putin said.

He then recalled a similar situation when the US administration forced the Bolivian president’s plane to land in Vienna.

“Air Force One, a presidential plane, was forced to land. The President was taken out of the aircraft. They searched the plane. And you don’t even recall that. Do you think it was normal, that was good, but what Lukashenko did was bad? Look, let us speak the same language and let us use the same concepts. If, well, Lukashenko is a gangster, how about the situation with the Bolivian President? … Nobody is bringing that up”, Putin said.

In May, a Ryanair airpplane traveling from Greece to Lithuania made an emergency landing in Minsk over a bomb threat, which turned out to be fake. Two of its passengers, Roman Protasevich, the founder of a Telegram channel that Belarus has designated as extremist, and his girlfriend, Russian national Sofia Sapega, were detained during the stopover.

Putin’s expansive interview with NBC comes just mere days before the Russian president is expected to sit down for talks with his US counterpart Joe Biden in Geneva, Switzerland.

‘Red Lines,’ Coup Attempts and Zircon Missiles: Highlights of Putin’s Address to Federal Assembly
worker | April 25, 2021 | 8:53 pm | Russia, Vladimir Putin | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/russia/202104211082692692-red-lines-coup-attempts-coexistence-key-takeaways-from-putins-address-to-the-federal-assembly/

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The president’s annual address, given to members of the two houses of Russia’s parliament, plus members of the cabinet, regional governors, and various distinguished guests, outlines his views on the state of the nation, and establishes guidelines for the country’s foreign and domestic policy in the year to come.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his annual address to Russian lawmakers and officials on Wednesday, with this year’s speech lasting 78 minutes, and dedicated to a broad range of issues including foreign and defence policy, the economy and social policy, the coronavirus and climate change.

Sputnik has collected the speech’s highlights. A complete readout of the address can be found here.

On Foreign and Defence Policy

  • Commenting on the series of “unfriendly actions” he said have been taken against Russia, Putin said that while Russia has so far acted with “utter restraint.” He added, however, that “if someone perceives our goodwill as indifference or weakness, and is prepared to completely burn, or even blow up…bridges, Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, speedy and tough,” he warned.
  • Without naming any country specifically, Putin denounced nations attempting to impose “unlawful, politically motivated economic sanctions” and making “crude attempts to enforce their will on others.”
  • Comparing countries seeking to bully and intimidate Russia to the tiger Shere Khan and the jackal Tabaqui – characters from Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel “The Jungle Book” – Putin warned adversaries not to cross Russia’s “red lines,” saying these lines would be determined by Moscow in each specific instance. “Those staging any provocations that threaten core interests of our security will regret it like nothing before,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual address to Russian lawmakers. 21 April 2021.
© SPUTNIK / MIKHAIL METZEL
Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual address to Russian lawmakers. 21 April 2021.
  • Mentioning the recently uncovered foreign-backed plot to assassinate Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and members of his family and to stage a coup in Belarus, Putin said this plot “crossed all boundaries” of legitimate intercourse between nations. Commenting on the plot’s details – including plans to shut down the Minsk power grid and shut down the city’s infrastructure and communications, Putin suggested that “apparently, it’s not for no reason that our Western colleagues have stubbornly rejected numerous proposals by the Russian side to establish an international dialogue in the field of information and cybersecurity.”
  • Pointing to Moscow’s ongoing work to modernise its nuclear arsenal and reporting that the share of modern weapons systems in the country’s nuclear triad would exceed 88 percent by the end of 2021, Putin invited other nations to discuss with Russia questions related to strategic stability. “The purpose of such talks may be the creation of an environment of conflict-free coexistence on the basis of the equalisation of security, which would encompass not only traditional strategic weapons, intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarines, but also – and I would like to emphasise this point: all offensive and defensive systems capable of carrying out strategic tasks, regardless of their armament,” he said.
  • On the subject of strategic defence, Putin revealed that the first full regiment of Russia’s new Sarmat ICBM would come online by 2022, while Zircon hypersonic missiles would be put on alert in the near future. Overall, the share of modern equipment in the Russian military is expected to exceed 75 percent by 2024, according to Putin.
Test of the Zircon hypersonic missile
© PHOTO : RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY
Test of the Zircon hypersonic missile

Domestic Issues: Healthcare, Social Policy, Economy, Environment

  • Putin devoted considerable attention and time to the coronavirus pandemic in the first half of his speech, praising Russians for joining together to combat the disease, and reserving admiration for Russia’s scientists for their work to create three different Covid vaccines which he encouraged people to use. Suggesting that the global healthcare system was on the threshold of a “real revolution,” the president said that the pandemic had “strongly accelerated” new techniques and technologies like telemedicine, the use of AI, new approaches to diagnostics, surgery, and rehabilitation. “Our task is to put such technologies at the service of the citizens of our country. It is on the new technological basis that we need to build the entire healthcare system,” he said.
  • Commenting on Russia’s demographic situation, and the recently reported decline of the population by over 700,000 people over the past three years, Putin said that “preservation of people” was the government’s “top national priority,” and that its national strategy was meant to “achieve sustainable population growth, and ensure that average life expectancy in Russia will reach 78 by 2030,” up from its current average of 72.5 years, including 65.1 years for men.
Woman watches live speech of President Putin's speech to the Federal Assembly. Wednesday, 21 April, 2021.
© SPUTNIK / СЕРГЕЙ ПЯТАКОВ
Woman watches live speech of President Putin’s speech to the Federal Assembly. Wednesday, 21 April, 2021.
  • On the subject of social welfare, Putin mentioned a new programme which will pay single parents a new additional monthly stipend averaging 5,650 rubles (equivalent to about $74), complementing payments made to all parents, which have also been increased. The president praised what he said were “unprecedented measures” taken by the government to support the economy during the pandemic, saying some five million jobs had been saved through the provision of soft loans and tax breaks to business. Noting that the corporate sector was on track to registering an all-time record in profits in 2021, Putin said the government would work to promote additional private investment to create new jobs.
  • Putin also indicated that the state would be soon be simplifying conditions for companies engaged in non-commodity exports through the easing of currency control restrictions. On the subject of taxes, he said that the taxation system was in need of fine-tuning to encourage companies to invest profits in their industries.
Kamaz factory in Tatarstan, Russia.
© SPUTNIK / MAKSIM BOGODVID
Kamaz factory in Tatarstan, Russia.
  • The president also devoted attention to the environment, promising that Russia would do its part in fighting climate change, including by engaging in the cleanup of environmental damage and the reclamation of land. Emphasising that Russia is warming at a rate 2.5 times above the world average, Putin set a goal for Russia to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions to levels below the European Union over the next thirty years, notwithstanding challenges, such as geography and Russia’s northern climate. “We have to adapt our agricultural sector, industrial complex, public services and infrastructure, to create a CO2 recycling industry, aim for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through tough control and monitoring,” he said. “I am absolutely certain that this goal is achievable, given our scientific and technological potential,” he added.
  • Russia is a major energy-producing nation, with its oil reserves expected to last at least several more decades. Accounting for changing circumstances, Putin suggested that the country needs “new comprehensive approaches to energy, including new solutions in nuclear power generations, in such prospective areas as hydrogen energy and energy storage.”
Russia Will Find a Way to Protect Its Interests If Other Countries Refuse Dialogue, Putin Says
worker | April 25, 2021 | 8:28 pm | Russia, Vladimir Putin | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/russia/202104211082690116-russia-will-find-a-way-to-protect-its-interests-if-other-countries-refuse-dialogue-putin-says/

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The president’s remarks come amid a new round of tensions between Russia and the West, including fresh sanctions against Moscow by Washington, claims about cyberattacks and election meddling, and mutual recriminations over the escalating civil conflict in Ukraine.

Moscow will find “asymmetrical” ways to defend its national interests if other nations refuse dialogue, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

“Unfriendly actions toward Russia do not cease,” Putin said, speaking during his annual address to lawmakers from both houses of Russia’s parliament on Wednesday. “In these circumstances, we behave ourselves with utter restraint, one may even say humbly, often times leaving without response not only unfriendly actions but also blatant rudeness.”

“In some countries, a nasty custom has taken root – to ‘cling’ to Russia on any pretext. It’s like some kind of sport…We truly do not want to burn bridges, and want to have good relations with all members of the international community. But if someone perceives our goodwill as indifference or weakness, and is prepared to completely burn, or even blow up, those bridges, Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, speedy and tough,” Putin warned.

The president added that he hoped no foreign nation would attempt to cross any of Russia’s “red lines”, and compared countries trying to “bully” Russia to the tiger Shere Khan and Tabaqui the jackal from Rudyard Kipling’s novel “The Jungle Book”.

Belarus Coup Plot

The president went on to address the recent discovery of a plot to assassinate the Belarusian president and members of his family and to carry out a coup d’etat in Belarus.

“One can evaluate [former] President of Ukraine [Viktor] Yanukovych or [President Nicolas] Maduro of Venezuela however one likes…One can have any point of view regarding the policies of Belarusian President Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko. But the practice of organising coups and attempts to organise assassinations of heads of state is just too much. All boundaries have been crossed,” Putin said.

 

The plot was uncovered by Russian and Belarusian security services, with Russia’s FSB detaining two members of the Belarusian opposition in Moscow, and their Belarusian counterparts indicating that they had detained several persons believed to be backed by US intelligence services. The State Department denied any involvement in the plot.

“It is worth pointing to the confessions of the detained participants in the conspiracy that a blockade of Minsk was being prepared, including its city infrastructure and communications, the complete shutdown of the entire power grid of the Belarusian capital. This, incidentally means preparations for a massive cyberattack. And this isn’t something that can be done with a single switch,” Putin continued.

“Apparently, it’s not for no reason that our Western colleagues have stubbornly rejected numerous proposals by the Russian side to establish an international dialogue in the field of information and cybersecurity,” the president suggested.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday delivered the annual address to the Federal Assembly, or the State of the Nation address, in Moscow.
worker | April 25, 2021 | 8:23 pm | Russia, Vladimir Putin | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-04-21/Putin-delivers-annual-State-of-the-Nation-address-ZDU3yuFos0/index.html

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Putin discusses COVID-19, climate, foreign relations in annual address
Updated 20:44, 21-Apr-2021
CGTN
01:26

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual address to the Federal Assembly, or the State of the Nation address, in Moscow on Wednesday.

The annual address is meant to define important issues, such as the country’s future development plan and foreign policy. This year’s address focused on health, livelihood, domestic policies, the economy, national security and international affairs.

Russia’s measures to deal with COVID-19 

Putin began by praising the effective measures taken in Russia to contain the epidemic.

Acknowledging the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as an unprecedented and direct threat to people’s life, Putin thanked medical workers for their dedication in the fight as well as the public’s understanding and compliance to control measures.

The Russian president highlighted the importance of scientific work on COVID-19 vaccine development and called on every Russian to “get vaccinated” in order to achieve herd immunity by autumn.

“Everyone must have the opportunity to be vaccinated, as this will allow for so-called collective immunity to be developed in the autumn. A solution to this problem lies in our and your hands, in the hands of all citizens. I once again address all Russian citizens with the call: get vaccinated,” said Putin.

Noting that the pandemic also exposes loopholes in Russian’s medical system, Putin called for reform in the system with deep integration of modern technologies to improve efficiency.

Putin’s annual address, Moscow, Russia, April 21, 2021. /Reuters

Climate change commitment 

Regarding climate change, the Russian president said the country is committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years.

“We must respond to the challenges of climate change, create a carbon recycling industry,” he noted, urging concrete action to protect the environment.

Along with the commitment, Putin also reiterated Russian’s position on environmental protection by underlining that the country cannot develop its economy at the sacrifice of the environment.

‘Red line’ in ‘foreign provocation’

Speaking of the recent turbulence in foreign relations, Putin warned the West of not crossing Moscow-set “red lines” in relations with Russia.

According to Putin, Russia strives to have good relations with other countries, but the country would respond in a harsh and swift way to any foreign provocations after complaining of continued unfounded and unfriendly acts against Russia.

The Russian president also denounced Western silence on a failed assassination against Belorussian President Alexander Lukashenko.

“Everyone pretends that nothing is happening at all … what would have happened if the coup d’etat attempt had been actually undertaken? How many people would have suffered?”

Lukashenko earlier claimed that his security services had thwarted an alleged U.S. plot to assassinate him.

(Cover: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly, Moscow, Russia, April 21, 2021. /Reuters)

Washington Sees Russian Response Measures as ‘Escalatory,’ Reserves Right to Retaliate
worker | April 18, 2021 | 6:57 pm | Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/world/202104161082651932-washington-sees-russian-response-measures-as-escalatory-reserves-right-to-retaliate/

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Moscow took retaliatory measures in response to sanctions Washington slapped against it over accusations of alleged election meddling and Russia’s purported part in the SolarWinds cyber hack. Moscow has repeatedly dismissed these allegations as lacking any proof and harmful for bilateral relations.

The United States sees Russia’s announcement of response actions as “escalatory” and reserves the right to retaliate, a State Department spokesperson told Sputnik.

“Today’s announcement by the Russian government was escalatory and regrettable,” the spokesperson said on Friday. “It is not in our interest to get into an escalatory cycle, but we reserve the right to respond to any Russian retaliation against the United States.”

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced a response, which included barring eight current and former US officials from entering the country in retaliation for the new US sanctions and expulsions of Russian diplomats. Moscow noted that now is the time for the United States to demonstrate prudence by abandoning its confrontational stance toward Russia.

A new batch of sanctions was introduced by Washington over already long-standing allegations of interference in the US election and Moscow’s alleged role in the SolarWinds cyberattack. Biden claimed on Thursday that he “could have gone further” with the sanctions, but “chose to be proportionate”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the US government’s actions were contrary to its declared intention to build pragmatic relations with Russia, and notified US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan that Moscow’s retaliatory measures would be announced soon.

US-Russia relations suffered a downturn following Joe Biden’s controversial remarks in an interview with ABC News in March. In particular, the US president threatened that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would “pay a price” for alleged election meddling and answered in the affirmative when asked whether he considered Putin a “killer.”

U.S. President Joe Biden holds first Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 1, 2021.
© REUTERS / TOM BRENNER
U.S. President Joe Biden holds first Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 1, 2021.

The Russian leader reacted to Biden’s remarks wishing the American president good health and reminding him that evaluating other people is like looking in a mirror, and invited Biden to continue the discussion online.

At the same time, Moscow invited Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov for consultations to analyze further actions in the context of relations with the United States. According to Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin will decide when Antonov should return to Washington.

The Kremlin said on Friday that a Russian presidential aide informed U.S. ambassador of Russia’s response to U.S. sanctions, after Moscow said it was mulling its response.
worker | April 16, 2021 | 7:11 pm | Russia, Vladimir Putin | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-04-16/Kremlin-says-Putin-to-decide-on-counter-sanctions-against-Washington-ZvJb4Gt1w4/index.html

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Kremlin: Moscow has informed U.S. about response to sanctions
Updated 21:40, 16-Apr-2021
CGTN

The Kremlin said Moscow and Washington did not share the same vision of creating mutually beneficial ties and that President Vladimir Putin would decide what counter sanctions to hit Washington with.

The U.S. government on Thursday blacklisted Russian companies, expelled Russian diplomats, and barred U.S. banks from buying sovereign bonds from Russia’s central bank, national wealth fund, and Finance Ministry.

Source(s): Reuters