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US State Department says US has options to escalate economic pressure on Russia

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs Erik Woodhouse refrained from comments on potential future sanctions actions

WASHINGTON, July 13. /TASS/. The US administration sees options to step up economic pressure on Russia and impose new sanctions, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, Erik Woodhouse, said on Wednesday.

"We don't comment on potential future sanctions actions. I can say we continually identify and evaluate additional targets and the bottom line is as long as the Russia's unprovoked invasion and aggression against Ukraine continues, we will continue to identify those targets, along with partners and allies, to intensify the economic pressure on Russia and on those who are supporting Russia's war machine. So, I do believe there are substantial options to escalate our pressure that we have not yet taken," he said at a news conference to a question from TASS.

On February 24 Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aims to demilitarize and de-Nazify the country. The West retaliated to the Russian decision by imposing sweeping sanctions on the country. Also, Western countries started shipments of weapons to Kiev, which by now are worth billions of dollars. Some Western politicians have described the situation as an economic war on Russia. Putin said on March 16 that Western sanctions bear the signs of an aggression and the West pursues a long-term policy of containing Russia.