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New US sanctions won’t push Russia into deadlock, but complicate bilateral ties — Putin

"I believe this is harmful," Russian President said. "But it is early now to speak about any retaliatory steps (towards strengthening of sanctions) but let’s look at the outcome."

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Washington’s new sanctions against Russia won’t push Moscow into deadlock, but this policy harms bilateral relations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the program "Vesti v Subboty (Saturday News) with Sergey Brilev.

"It is important to note that no matter what is going on - certainly, probably, let’s look what will be the result in the final end. But no matter what and which decisions are taken overseas, this won’t push us into deadlock," Putin stressed.

"We will probably have to correct something, and take additional measures, pay extra attention to something, but this (toughening of sanctions) won’t lead to a deadlock or any collapse," the president said.

"But this will certainly complicate Russian-US relations," he warned. "I believe this is harmful," Putin said. "But it is early now to speak about any retaliatory steps (towards strengthening of sanctions) but let’s look at the outcome."

US sanctions

On June 15, the US Senate approved a bill aimed at increasing pressure on Iran, which also includes a provision on tightening sanctions against Russia.

Now the House of Representatives needs to approve the bill before it is submitted for signing to US President Donald Trump. The bill particularly enshrines sanctions imposed over the Ukrainian crisis and Crimea’s reunification with Russia in accordance with then-President Barack Obama’s decrees. The document concerns restrictions that the Obama administration introduced in late 2016 against Russian citizens suspected of being involved in cyber attacks on US targets.

The US president will be granted the right to introduce sanctions against persons who invest large amounts of money, starting from $1 mln, into the construction of energy pipelines in Russia. Besides, the document stipulates that the US should continue opposing the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 project, as well as give priority to the US exports.

The US president will also have to impose sanctions on those providing significant financial, material or technological support to the Syrian government.

Besides, US senators seek to deprive the White House of the opportunity to ease sanctions. According to the bill, it will require a congressional review for any lifting, suspension or termination of sanctions on Russia.

Reaction in Europe

Chancellor of Austria Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel criticized US plans to introduce new sanctions against Russia. Restrictive measures considered by the US Congress contradict international law, endanger Europe’s energy security and are harmful to settlement of the situation in Ukraine, the politicians said. They also said that this plan was only aimed at forcing the American LNG into the European market and pushing the Russian gas out of it.