MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. Russia condemns Washington's sanctions plans and will respond to them on the principle of reciprocity in order to best ensure its interests, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced on Thursday.
"We condemn any pursuit of sanctions, we consider them illegal. In any case, the principle of reciprocity in this matter is valid; reciprocity in a way that best serves our interests," he specified.
He called information from the US media about the new sanctions against Moscow a "leak", adding that "there is no smoke without fire." "For now, we will not comment on media reports. We will wait for any specific decisions by Washington to be officially announced. We certainly wouldn’t like to act based on Lenin’s formula ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’ in our bilateral relations," Peskov explained.
Earlier, Bloomberg reported that the new US anti-Russian sanctions may affect several dozen individuals and legal entities, and will also include restrictions related to Russia’s sovereign debt. According to him, these restrictive measures may be announced on Thursday. In particular, a ban may be introduced prohibiting the purchases of debt securities by US financial institutions directly from the Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Finance, and its sovereign fund.
On Putin-Biden meeting
Peskov said that hypothetical US sanctions against Russia by no means promote preparations for a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden.
"It goes without saying that possible sanctions being discussed would by no means promote such a meeting," Peskov said.
A bilateral meeting between Putin and Biden can hardly be arranged in the coming weeks while the issue is still being analyzed, according to Peskov.
"Naturally, it won’t be possible to organize a bilateral meeting so quickly. This issue is still being analyzed," the Russian presidential spokesman said, replying to a corresponding question.
The Kremlin spokesman added that most likely "this relates to a climate summit planned for next week."
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier announced that during a telephone conversation with the Russian leader Biden proposed holding a meeting with Putin in the coming weeks.