US sanc­tions a ‘trade war’ with Rus­sia

New Straits Times - - News -

MOSCOW: Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry Medvedev has lashed out at the new United States sanc­tions on Rus­sia.

He said it was a “full-fledged eco­nomic war” on Rus­sia.

Medvedev warned the move would have “con­se­quences”.

“It ends hopes for im­prov­ing our re­la­tions with the new US ad­min­is­tra­tion,” he said on his Face­book page.

Taunt­ing the no­to­ri­ously thin­skinned US pres­i­dent, Medvedev added: “The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has shown its to­tal weak­ness by hand­ing over ex­ec­u­tive power to Congress in the most hu­mil­i­at­ing way”.

Trump signed the leg­is­la­tion be­hind closed doors and his re­luc­tance was on full dis­play in an an­gry sign­ing state­ment in which he called the leg­is­la­tion “sig­nif­i­cantly flawed”.

“In its haste to pass this leg­is­la­tion, the Congress in­cluded a num­ber of clearly un­con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions,” he said, in­clud­ing curbs on his abil­ity to “ne­go­ti­ate” with Rus­sia.

“I built a truly great com­pany worth many bil­lions of dol­lars. That is a big part of the rea­son I was elected. As pres­i­dent, I can make far bet­ter deals with for­eign coun­tries than Congress,” he said.

The leg­is­la­tion, which also in­cludes mea­sures against North Korea and Iran, tar­gets the Rus­sian en­ergy sec­tor, giv­ing Washington the abil­ity to im­pose sanc­tions on com­pa­nies in­volved in de­vel­op­ing Rus­sian pipe­lines, and plac­ing curbs on some Rus­sian weapons ex­porters.

The sanc­tions seek to pe­nalise the Krem­lin for al­legedly med­dling in last year’s US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and for Rus­sia’s an­nex­a­tion of Crimea. AFP

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