MOSCOW, December 19. / TASS /. Russia will reciprocate the new US sanctions that are introduced against the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his traditional annual news conference on Thursday, when commenting on reports that US Congress approved a large package of anti-Russian sanctions on December 18.
"Of course, this will affect the level of our interstate relations, of course," Putin said. "We know their approach, which is that the United States will work with us where it is interesting and profitable, and at the same time will hold back Russia with the help of decisions of this kind. But, knowing this too, we will mirror their actions that is all."
"There is nothing good about it, these are absolutely unfriendly acts against Russia," President Putin added.
Russia seeks to improve ties with US
Russia wants to improve its relations with Washington regardless of who is in power in the United States, according to Putin.
"Nevertheless, we are interested in cultivating and maintaining relations with the US and we will do this regardless of who is in the White House and who controls both houses of the US Congress," Putin said. "Do we have any prospects here?" he said, adding: "I believe, yes."
The political struggle in the United States exacerbated after Republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives, controlled by the Democratic Party, voted to approve two articles of impeachment against President Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The first vote accusing Trump of abuse of power was 230-197 in favor, with one vote of ‘present’ in abstention. Later, the second vote on accusing Trump of obstruction of Congress was 229-198 in favor, with one vote of ‘present’ in abstention.
Trump has become the fourth US commander-in-chief to face impeachment proceedings, after Andrew Johnson in 1868, Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1998-1999. Johnson and Clinton were acquitted, while Nixon stepped down before the start of the hearings.