Putin To Decide On Counter Sanctions Against Washington, Says Kremlin

Russian President Putin attends a session of the Russian Geographical Society in Moscow

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the board of trustees of the Russian Geographical Society via a video conference call in Moscow, Russia April 14, 2021. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS




MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would decide what counter sanctions to impose on Washington, a day after U.S. President Joe Biden hit Moscow with an array of punitive measures, but gave no indication of timing.

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

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was mulling its response.

“The principle of reciprocity for such matters has not been cancelled, but everything will depend on the decisions made by the (Russian) head of state.”

Peskov did not say when Putin would decide on counter sanctions, though Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday retaliatory sanctions would come soon.

Peskov added that the Kremlin had yet to decide on Putin’s possible participation in a U.S.-led climate summit.

“Their views categorically do not coincide when it comes to creating mutually beneficial relations and taking each other’s interests into account,” Peskov said of Putin and Biden.

Peskov said the Russian leader had repeatedly said that Russia was ready to cooperate with the United States as much as Washington wanted to cooperate with Moscow.

The U.S. sanctions were a response to Moscow’s alleged meddling in last year’s U.S. electioncyber hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged malign actions. Russia denies all the allegations.

Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was recalled to Moscow last month amid deteriorating ties. He attended a meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday.

(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov and Gabrielle T├ętrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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