Sunday, August 19, 2018 | ePaper

Russia warns

More US sanctions would be 'declaration of economic war'

  • Print
AFP  :
Russia warned Friday that if the US followed through with threats to impose further harsh economic sanctions it would be seen as a "declaration of economic war".
The warning by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev came after Washington unveiled a raft of new sanctions against Russia over its alleged use of the Novichok nerve agent against a former double agent which Britain has blamed on Moscow.
The incident, which took place in Salisbury in southern England in March, triggered a major diplomatic crisis despite Russia's denial of any role.
Announced late on Wednesday, the first set of sanctions, which will take effect in just under two weeks, impose a ban on the export to Russia of "national security sensitive" US technologies.
Until now such exports had been previously allowed on a case-by-case basis, with a senior State Department official saying the move could cut off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of exports to Russia.
"While I don't want to comment on the talk about future sanctions, I can say that if we end up with something like a ban on banking activities or the use of certain currencies, we can clearly call this a declaration of economic war," Medvedev was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
"And we must absolutely respond to this war. By economic means, by political means and if necessary by other means," he added. "Our American friends must understand this."
The announcement of the sanctions on Thursday prompted Russian stocks and the ruble to tumble.  
The ruble fell further Friday morning, reaching its lowest level since August 2016, before rebounding slightly.
The central bank in a statement said it was following the situation and had the necessary instruments to react.
It said the situation was a "natural reaction of the financial market to news about new potential sanctions".
Previously, similar periods of volatility were "temporary in nature," it said.
A second round of sanctions that could go into effect 90 days later would cut far deeper, including blocking all American bank loans to Russian entities, an outright ban on US exports to Russia, and suspension of diplomatic relations. The State Department said the sanctions were aimed at punishing Moscow for having "used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law", mandated under the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.
However the sanctions announcement could bolster US President Donald Trump's claim that his administration is taking a tough stance on Moscow, even as he continues to denounce as a "witch hunt" an independent probe whether his election campaign colluded with Russia.
According to the 1991 Act, the president is to tighten the penalties within 90 days-unless the party in question provides "reliable assurances" that it no longer engages in such activities, and allows on-site inspections by United Nations observers.
Russia had on Thursday responded furiously to the sanctions, denouncing them as "categorically unacceptable" as the markets tumbled and the ruble fell to its lowest level in almost two years.
On Wednesday, Russia's Kommersant daily published excerpts from another piece of draft US legislation which proposes a ban on US citizens purchasing Russian sovereign debt as well as steps against the country's biggest banks as well as its oil and gas sector, a key driver of the economy.
The sanctions follow the US Treasury's imposition of sanctions in March against 19 Russian citizens and five entities for interfering in the 2016 US election-the toughest steps against Moscow since Trump took office.
Also in March, Washington ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, and the closure of Russia's consulate general in Seattle over the Novichok incident.
The Russian economy has only recently started to recover from international sanctions imposed on Moscow in 2014 over its actions in Ukraine, and a crash in oil prices the same year.

More News For this Category

Journos, authors, HRmen voice concern over Digital Security Bill

Staff Reporter :Journalists, authors and rights activists have expressed their deep concern over the proposed Digital Security Bill 2018, saying that the freedom of the press and expression would

Home-goers travelling by launch, taking lives at risk

Syed Shemul Parvez :With only three days left ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha,  homegoers have started to leave the capital by mostly the rundown and fauly launches to celebrate the

Huge hilsha netted from the Bay

Huge hilsha netted from the Bay

UNB, Chandpur :Huge hilsa netted from the Bay of Bengal and the Meghna estuary have flooded the biggest wholesale fish market of the country at Chandpur Boro Station in

One held with six gold bars at HSIA

UNB, Dhaka :Customs officials arrested a man along with six gold bars, weighing 600 grams, from Shahjalal International Airport here on Friday afternoon.The arrestee was identified as Sourav Mina.Dr

1155 medical teams to monitor entry of healthy cattles in markets

Staff Reporter :Livestock Department has formed 1155 medical teams to monitor entrance of healthy cattle in the markets across the country. These teams will also work so that the

2 bodies found in Kushtia

UNB, Kushtia :Police recovered two bodies from Mirpur and Daulatpur upazilas on Monday morning.Being informed by locals, a team of police recovered the body of an unidentified young man

JMB leader Salehin yet to be held

bdnews24.com :Salehin alias Sunny, one of the convicts in the case over the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh or JMB's synchronised bomb blast plan 13 years ago has remained at large

Plot on to wage movement like students one: Quader

UNB, Dhaka :Claiming that the opposition conspired to make gains mixing intruders into the peaceful movement of students, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday said this conspiracy

Police torture students in remand: Rizvi

Staff Reporter :The BNP on Saturday accused the police of torturing students in remand arrested after the road safety movement. "Police are torturing students in remand arrested after road safety

Steps to ensure justice for victims urged

UNB, Dhaka :Experts and women rights activists on Saturday urged for amending necessary acts to remove legal loopholes and sanction budget for more judicial courts to ensure justice for