Putin: Sanctions 'Seriously' Damage Russia-U.S. Relations

Putin: Sanctions 'Seriously' Damage Russia-U.S. Relations

MOSCOW, July 17 (UPI) — Russian President Vladimir Putin commented Thursday about the U.S. decision to impose additional sanctions on Russia, calling American foreign policy “aggressive” and “unprofessional.”

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama introduced a new set of sanctions against large Russian companies and financial institutions in response to Russia’s failure to de-escalate tensions with neighboring Ukraine.

Putin criticized U.S. foreign policy, declaring that “those who plan foreign policy actions in the United States (this is not a recent observation but one pertaining to the last 10-15 years) are conducting an aggressive foreign policy and, in my view, a rather unprofessional one…”

When asked what Russia’s response will be to the new sanctions, Putin told a gathering of reporters, “We will need to see what those sanctions entail; we will need to look into it calmly, without any commotion.”

Putin proposed that instead, the U.S. and Russia should be “calling on all sides in the conflict in Ukraine to immediately cease hostilities and start talks.”

The sanctions against Russia, Obama explained Wednesday, were pursued because Russia has not supported cease-fire efforts or internationally-mediated talks.

Putin claimed on Thursday that “everyone who has relations with and influence on the parties in this conflict should do everything in order for the bloodshed to end, immediately and from both sides.”

Obama reiterated in his foreign policy speech Wednesday “we have to see concrete actions and not just words that Russian, in fact, is committed to trying to end this conflict along the Russia-Ukraine border.”