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The Kremlin has said that the Russian economy is insulated from the US sanctions which might inversely aid the country to mobilize its resources.
Presidential aide Andrei Belousov said there could be some fleeting impact but it’s unlikely to affect seriously the Russian economy in the long run.
“I think that they [the sanctions] would instead force us to mobilize…and our [US] colleagues do not realize that with their sanctions they have triggered the largest consolidation of the [Russian] elite for the last 10-15 years,” Belousov, a former economy minister, said.
“It’s probably our [Russian] psychological trait — we need a serious negative external catalyst to unite and consolidate,” he said. “This has been the main impact of the sanction so far.”
The White House on Monday announced fresh sanctions on Russia, targeting seven government officials and 17 companies.
These people, among them two from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, and entities were hit with a visas ban and asset freezes in response to what the White House called Moscow’s “continued illegal intervention in Ukraine and provocative acts.”
The Obama administration also took steps against high-technology exports to the Russian defense industry, White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
Carney threatened “still greater costs” on Russia in the event of what he called its continued “provocations”.
He alleged that Russia has “done nothing” and “in fact has further escalated the crisis” in Ukraine since April 17 when it agreed on “a number of steps to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including refraining from further violence or provocative acts” after meeting with the US, the EU and Ukraine in Geneva.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also announced on Monday that Canada was imposing additional sanctions against Russian individuals and companies
The EU is also expected to move against Russia as the leaders of the G-7 industrialized nations and the bloc issued a joint statement on Friday saying they had agreed to “move swiftly” to impose more sanctions on Russia in response to its inaction in helping to ease growing tension in eastern Ukraine.
US President Barack Obama had signed an executive order in March authorizing sanctions targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.
Russia vowed on Monday to deliver a “painful” response to fresh U.S. sanctions.
“We will, of course, respond,” the Interfax news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying. “We are certain that this response will have a painful effect on Washington.”
“We are disgusted with the statement issued by the White House press secretary,” he said, adding “Every word used by the White House press secretary in the statement confirms that the United States has completely lost touch with reality and is leading things toward an escalation of the crisis.”