April 18, 2018 / 10:57 AM / 6 months ago

Russia: our response to U.S. sanctions will be precise and painful

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of the Russian upper house of parliament, said on Wednesday that Moscow’s response to U.S. sanctions will be targeted and painful, Russian news agencies reported.

FILE PHOTO: A view shows a tower of the Kremlin (R) and the Foreign Ministry headquarters (back) in Moscow, Russia March 16, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

The United States this month added several Russian firms and officials to a sanctions blacklist in response to what it said were the Kremlin’s “malign activities”. Moscow says those sanctions are unlawful and has warned that it will retaliate.

“No one should be under any illusions,” Matvienko, who is closely aligned with the Kremlin, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

“Russia’s response to the sanctions, our so-called counter-sanctions, will be precise, painful, and without question sensitive for exactly those countries that imposed them (the sanctions) on Russia,” she was quoted as saying.

“Sanctions are a double-edged sword and those who impose them should understand that sanctions against countries, especially those like Russia, will carry with them risks of serious consequences for those who impose them.”

Lawmakers in the lower house of the Russian parliament have drawn up legislation that would give the government powers to ban or restrict imports of U.S. goods and services ranging from medicines to software and rocket engines. However, the Kremlin has not yet said if it backs such measures.

A senior U.S. administration official said on Monday President Donald Trump has delayed imposing additional sanctions on Russia and is unlikely to approve them unless Moscow carries out a new cyber attack or some other provocation.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Catherine Evans

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