Because Washington, DC, has not yet implemented new sanctions against Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet ordered retaliatory sanctions against the United States, although the Russian Foreign Ministry said it is working on tit-for-tat retaliatory measures.
“There was an announcement of some new (U.S.) sanctions, there was information that a bundle (of sanctions) was being prepared or was already ready, but it hasn’t yet been introduced and of course there’s no clear information on what these restrictions will be,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly said.
On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department announced new sanctions on Russia over the use of a nerve agent to poison ex-Moscow spy Sergei Skripal in Britain in March, who miraculously survived the assassination attempt.
Russia denies poisoning Skripal.
The first set of sanctions is projected to have limited impact compared with the second round of sanctions expected to hit Russia’s already weak economy within several months.
This month, the Senate introduced legislation that would expand sanctions even further to target Russia’s top state-controlled banks and freeze their dollar transactions.
On Friday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly said if U.S.-imposed sanctions hit Russian banks in this manner, it would amount to a “declaration of economic war.”
On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to introduce the Kentucky senator to President Putin. The letter emphasized “further engagement” between Trump and Putin and “the importance of further engagement in various areas including countering terrorism, enhancing legislative dialogue and resuming cultural exchanges.”