BRASILIA Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that U.S. sanctions will take relations with Russia to a "dead end" and damage U.S. business interests in his country.
"Sanctions have a boomerang effect and without any doubt they will push U.S.-Russian relations into a dead end, and cause very serious damage," he said to reporters on a visit to Brazil.
The U.S. government on Wednesday, because of what it views as Russia's interference in Ukraine, imposed its most wide-ranging sanctions yet, on key players in the country's economy, including Gazprombank and Rosneft Oil Co, and other major banks and energy and defense companies.
Putin said he needed to see the details of the sanctions to understand their full scope. But he added that he was sure the sanctions would damage the national interests of the United States in the long run.
"This means that U.S. companies willing to work in Russia will lose their competitiveness next to other global energy companies," he said.
Putin said the sanctions will hurt Exxon Mobil Corp which has been given the opportunity to operate in Russia.
"So, do they not want it to work there? They are causing damage to their major energy companies," he said.
The new sanctions also target senior Russian officials, including the deputy head of the State Duma, or parliament, the minister of the Crimea, a commander of the Russian intelligence agency FSB, and a Ukrainian separatist leader, several of whom had already been targeted by the European Union.
The sanctions, posted on the U.S. Treasury Department website, stopped short of targeting Gazprom, Russia's biggest gas company, which provides much of Europe's energy supplies.NAW
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)