Moscow Warns Of “Painful Response” To US Sanctions; EU Ready To Retaliate In “A Matter Of Days”

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Following yesterday’s almost unanimous House vote to pass new sanctions against Russia, on Wednesday Moscow threatened to retaliate, saying that – as expected – the action has made it all but impossible to achieve the Trump  administration’s goal of improved relations, and vowed to retaliate to the latest sanctions which Russia views as senseless and destructive according to its deputy foreign minister said.

As described yesterday, the bill passed by a vote of 419-3 on Tuesday , boosted sanctions against Russia just 3 weeks after Trump and Putin held their first official meeting. The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, requires Trump to seek congressional approval before easing sanctions imposed under the Obama administration for “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential elections and its support for separatists in Ukraine. So far Trump has not definitively stated if he will support the bill with the White House sending mixed signals whether Trump will sign it.

Moscow Warns Of "Painful Response" To US Sanctions; EU Ready To Retaliate In "A Matter Of Days"

Photo: Alexei Nikolsky, AP

The bill seeks to impose new economic sanctions against North Korea, Iran, and Russia, and received overwhelming support from US legislators. Moscow is being targeted for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, an allegation that Russia denies and which has not been backed by convincing public evidence. Russia’s foreign ministry expects the bill to become law, which would inevitably prompt Moscow to retaliate, Ryabkov warned.

“What is happening defies common sense. The authors and sponsors of this bill are taking a very serious step towards destroying any potential for normalizing relations with Russia,” Sergey Ryabkov told the media on Wednesday, referring to an act adopted earlier by the US House of Representatives.

“We told them dozens of times that such actions would not be left without a response. I believe the signal went through even though present-day Washington tends to listen to and hear from no one but itself,” Ryabkov added.

Following yesterday’s almost unanimous House vote to pass new sanctions against Russia, on Wednesday Moscow threatened to retaliate, saying that – as expected – the action has made it all but impossible to achieve the Trump  administration’s goal of improved relations, and vowed to retaliate to the latest sanctions which Russia views as senseless and destructive according to its deputy foreign minister said.

As described yesterday, the bill passed by a vote of 419-3 on Tuesday , boosted sanctions against Russia just 3 weeks after Trump and Putin held their first official meeting. The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, requires Trump to seek congressional approval before easing sanctions imposed under the Obama administration for “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential elections and its support for separatists in Ukraine. So far Trump has not definitively stated if he will support the bill with the White House sending mixed signals whether Trump will sign it.

The bill seeks to impose new economic sanctions against North Korea, Iran, and Russia, and received overwhelming support from US legislators. Moscow is being targeted for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, an allegation that Russia denies and which has not been backed by convincing public evidence. Russia’s foreign ministry expects the bill to become law, which would inevitably prompt Moscow to retaliate, Ryabkov warned.

“What is happening defies common sense. The authors and sponsors of this bill are taking a very serious step towards destroying any potential for normalizing relations with Russia,” Sergey Ryabkov told the media on Wednesday, referring to an act adopted earlier by the US House of Representatives.

“We told them dozens of times that such actions would not be left without a response. I believe the signal went through even though present-day Washington tends to listen to and hear from no one but itself,” Ryabkov added.

Russian senator Frants Klintsevich, who chairs the Defense and Security Committee, echoed Ryabkov’s sentiment. He said that Washington’s stance is dragging the world into a new Cold War, and compared the looming new sanctions to the notorious 1974 Jackson–Vanik amendment which targeted the Soviet Union with economic sanctions for obstructing the repatriation of its Jewish citizens to Israel, but survived even after the discriminative policy was canceled. The legislation has been is viewed by many in Russia as an example of unfair economic competition by the US under a pretext of protecting human rights.

Klintsevich said the US move “will make very difficult, if possible at all, any Russian-American cooperation on solving important international issues, including fighting against terrorism.”

Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said on Facebook that hope “is dying” for improved relations because the scale of “the anti-Russian consensus in Congress makes dialogue impossible and for a long time,” adding that Russia should prepare a response to the sanctions that’s “painful for the Americans.”

Trump will sign the law because “he’s a prisoner of Congress and anti-Russian hysteria,” Alexei Pushkov, Russian upper house of parliament senator said on Twitter. The sanctions are “a new stage of confrontation,” he said.  McDonald’s restaurants in Russia aren’t “a sacred cow” and should face “sanitary sanctions,” Pushkov said in a separate tweet. The fast food chain’s press office in Russia declined to comment immediately. As Bloomberg notes, the largest McDonald’s in Russia was shuttered for three months in 2014 amid about 250 safety probes of the company’s restaurants by officials after the U.S. imposed sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Russia has prepared “economic and political measures that will be adopted if the Senate and Trump support the bill,” said Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the international affairs committee in the upper house, the RIA Novosti news service reported. Relations with the U.S. “are at such a low level that we have nothing to lose” by retaliating, he said.

It wasn’t just Russia: the US bill also sparked concern in Europe. European governments and business leaders fear the sanctions would hurt crucial joint energy projects with Russia and may be motivated by Washington’s desire to take over the European natural gas market from Russia in favor of American liquefied natural gas.

In a statement on Wednesday morning, EU Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said that “the US bill could have unintended unilateral effects that impact the EU’s energy security interests. This is why the Commission concluded today that if our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently we stand ready to act appropriately with a matter of days”

“America first can not mean that Europe’s interests come last”

Finally, the German foreign ministry also chimed in when with its spokesman saying that the “US does not have the right to tell German companies how they should act with foreign business partners.”

And so, as we explained a month ago when the various conflicting tensions first emerged, Trump is trapped: unable to veto the bill, as he would be seen as promoting a pro-Russian agenda in a rather “sensitive” time, signing the bill will promptly lead to a deterioration of relations with Europe, whose own relations with Russia appear to have been far more important than the continent let on…

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  • Pieter Lemmens

    Trump is the swamp and the USA the core of all evil.

    • Harold Smith

      Exactly. Trump is a con man, and his whole campaign was a fraud from the beginning; a “bait and switch” scam.

  • Joe Doe

    How many times Russian leadership has to be fooled by americans politicians before Russian leadership will have balls and properly respond to Americans aggression, sanction and destabilizing the world peace and stability. The world leaderships should realize that america is the past not the future and america is not good partner to anyone. The world can exist without america

    • heydad

      While I disagree with the rhetoric from Washington, don’t let there aggressive notions push you over the dark edge. The world still needs America in reality, ya you could live without but we are all intertwined into a global economy that would crumble with such a loss. Also much like Israeli end games, I would be concerned with how the west would react in such a dire situation, they might do something drastic that inflicts pain on the rest of the world. Remember those in power will not easily hand it back over, they would rather see the entire world burn first.
      Now in a few decades if Russia or another superpower could be a transition force just like with the collapse of the soviet union, it might be manageable, but at the time being I don’t see this as a reality.

      • Joe Doe

        I still disagree with you that world needs america as you had not presentat even one example in which area world needs america. The ads against america and there’s distraction to the world peace and stability exceeds a lot more than the benefits

      • Harold Smith

        “While I disagree with the rhetoric from Washington, don’t let there aggressive notions push you over the dark edge.”

        It should be clear by now that “there (sic) aggressive notions” will not stop, but only get worse. Such evil is insatiable. It’s like an aggressive cancer; it will not stop unless it is dealt with decisively, or until it kills the host (and thus also itself).

        “The world still needs America in reality, ya you could live without but we are all intertwined into a global economy that would crumble with such a loss.”

        I hate to say it but it’s clear by now to anyone paying attention that America does far more evil in the world than it does good.

  • John Mason

    Trump lacks the credentials of a President and he will go along with the Bill. US is sinking fast but the idiots don’t know it or refuse to acknowledge it.

    • Joe Doe

      Does not matter if is Trump or Obama or anyone else, america is run by establishments and any president have no much choice but get on the establishments wagen or have Kennady faith. Just for the record, I am not Trump supporter nor I defending him

    • Davey Price

      Totally agree the US senate blinded by Trumps success in getting elected over killary, united both sides of the house in a bid to discredit Trump, while dreaming up Russian interference in US elections.
      The US president is the first since JFK to be impartial, he isn’t bought and I hope he doesn’t sign the bill v Russia. He needs the EU to stand with him on this, as sanctions will affect European interest hugely
      The US are a mess

      • zman

        Whether he is bought or not is a matter of opinion. He got his campaign money from just about the biggest Zionist in Israel, Sheldon Adelson…but I’m sure you already knew that. How that translates to ‘not being bought’ is not clear to me at all.

    • Harold Smith

      I believe that the lying con man Trump was the candidate that was intended to win. That’s why they didn’t run the more electable Sanders against him.
      Hillary Clinton was all used up politically and couldn’t be reinvented into an electable candidate, so they used her as an actor. And her role in the campaign was to make Orange Clown look reasonable by comparison.
      While wild-eyed madwoman Clinton was talking about the need to “confront” Russia (and every other country for that matter), Orange Clown was talking about “diplomacy” (rather than war), and “cooperation” with Russia rather than confrontation.
      And then, as the campaign came into the home stretch in the early fall of 2016, what happened? Obama started ramping up tensions with Russia, almost to the point of war; apparently to make sure Trump won the election.
      IOW, in the 2016 election, voters were given a choice between con man Trump and nuclear war, and con man Trump won.

      • Kristy Rain

        “Electable sanders”
        The champaign socialist, closet-rape-fetishist Berne Sanders?

        He was unelectable as you can see from his debates: When asked what he would do to help save small business all he did was drone on and on about ‘millionaires and billionaires’.

        In fact, that was his solution to everything: Millionaires and Billionaires, free college, free Healthcare and NO mention or methods for paying for it.

        Bernie appealed to the human jealousy towards others for being successful. He was as the bait and switch to get everyone who didn’t vote for Hillary, but remained a democrat, to vote for or Hillary after she ‘won’ the nomination.

        NONE of this regarding trump being elected, was supposed to happen. That’s why the piss stream media is gambling every ounce of credibility against the Internet as a whole.

        Think about it, this election showed us just how inept the MSM / Political elite truly are.

        We knew it already but the lack of awareness and inability to connect with people was laid bare for all to see. One awkward/embarrassing moment at a time.

        The elites can’t assassinate him physically but they can try his character. Slowly but surely he is being squeezed out.

        The powers that be, know his intent to make bridges with Russia, hence that clause at the end of the bill

        • Harold Smith

          Well I wouldn’t have voted for Sanders, the fraud that he is, but as far as I can tell, lots of people would have.

  • Kids in Africa
  • Aphelion

    It is quite common to see an individual leader or small groups in a leadership position to make rash decisions. However, I think what concerns me more than anything about this House vote is how unanimous it was within a group that represents such a wide span of the political spectrum. It shows an incredible lack of analysis on their behalf. I listened online to some presentations prior to the vote, and it was almost entirely emotional in nature. In fact, it appears that virtually everyone voted based on personal dislikes toward Russia, parroting of the US mass media’s accusations and obviously further fueled by the current general wave of Russophobia. I would have expected at least a meaningful percentage of them to also consider the US relationship with the EU and their other so-called allies, possible reactions and counter-responses from Russia, long term strategic and diplomatic relationships, the impact on unrelated joined efforts, such as the sharing of intelligence on terrorism, the likelihood of “success” (are they actually expecting Russia to respond by handing over the Crimea to Ukraine?!), etc. Instead, this vote appears to have been a completely mindless decision by a bunch of lemmings. It is truly concerning that this is the way in which decisions of international importance are being made in the US these days. There appears to be such a disconnect with what is happening outside their borders, that the train of thought of these people seem to have gone no further than “yeah, screw ’em”.

    • D.R.Phantom

      Top notch for your words Aphelion.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    Russia only have 2 cards vs USA sanctions!…1º to close russian airspace to US airlines in its way to China,Korea and Japan ( as they fly over Russian airspace- far east waters) 2º to close US GPS assets deployed along north Russia from west to east…

    • Davey Price

      Did they throw out US diplomats?

    • zman

      Oh, I don’t know about that. He could also stop sending us rocket engines…the ones we use to launch satellites. I’m sure there are others as well that we the public just don’t know about. For instance, since the Russian economy is in far better shape than ours (not to mention expanding production vs contracting), what would happen if he decided to bite the bullet and started to over produce oil and gas thereby dropping the price even further? Yes, it would impact the Russian economy, but what would it do to western producers/economy? What would that do to the US plan of using Poland to distribute US LNG? Where would that leave Poland, where we wish to put a ‘missile defence’ system? How would KSA feel about that, since their part of the US plan is putting the hurt on them now? The Russians can be very imaginative, as Putin has shown in Syria.

      • Manuel Flores Escobar

        Of course the worst option for USA is Russia sending to UNSC that they will lift weapons/arms embargo to Iran and North Korea…

    • John William

      Don’t forget about Russia flying The world’s astronauts to the space station plus selling rocket engines to Us.Ive been worried about them cutting us off from space for awhile.Wouldnt blame em tho

      • Jonathan Cohen

        space isn’t all that important.

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      The US doesn’t own the GPS technology and even pay many others for most licences on products made in the US.

  • Putin’s baby

    I have a dream… to see Washington under a mushroom cloud…that would rid our world of 95% of the evil in the world.

  • zman

    Whilst it is no secret that I do not and have never trusted Trump, he was elected, in part, to stop the antagonistic attitude towards Russia. If Trump wants to help his image, he should in fact veto this pile of shit and go on TV and tell the American people why he opposes it. Since he is a consummate salesman (conman), he should have no problem getting his message across…and that message should be: call your congress critter and tell them to stop the madness. He should call on all Americans to fight this attempt to restart the cold war regardless of their feelings toward him personally. Then tell us how this is going to negatively affect the US now and in the future. I believe he would get a large response that even CONgress couldn’t ignore. At any rate, what does he have to lose? Standing up to congress can only improve his rapport with the people.. Rolling over will further his decline and signal CONgress that he is now their bitch. All this of course depends on whether he was serious in the first place or whether he was just shilling us

    • Harold Smith

      Exactly. Trump has the power of the constitution and the power of the “bully pulpit” at his disposal to stop this anti Russia nonsense. Trump can even do things like order a real investigation into 9/11, which would probably stop the communists in their tracks.
      But I believe Trump is a liar and a fraud who will only do what his masters tell him to do. I hope to be proven wrong, but I believe that Trump is a scumbag worse than Obama.

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    Congress has gone off the rails. They need to be kenneled and muzzled.

    In previous administrations they abrogated their power to declare war and handed it off to the executive. Now they are usurping the executives power to determine foreign policy. Amending the Constitution requires a 2/3 majority of states to ratify.
    Neither Congress nor the president has the right to levy sanctions. That power resides with the the UN.
    If Trump doesn’t veto this dog of a bill (apologies to canines) he’ll regret it.

  • FlorianGeyer

    In a mildly masochistic way, all of us alive today are privileged to witness the first death throws of an Empire. The arrogance of any empire antagonises even its vassal states in time as the disconnect from reality of the rulers increases like a cancer of stupidity and greed.

    Popcorn anyone ?

  • Harold Smith

    Congress actually has no constitutional authority to DICTATE foreign policy to the president, since under Art 2 of the constitution, the power to “make treaties” is exclusively given to the president. The congressional role is limited to “advice and consent” (senate).
    And to the extent congress has any such power to dictate foreign policy, congress has no power to actually compel the executive to execute or enforce the legislation. For example congress could pass legislation demanding that the president launch a nuclear first strike against Russia, but congress has no way to force compliance from the executive branch.
    My point is that it is ultimately up to Trump what happens with sanctions.
    I believe that Trump is a liar and a fraud; a Trojan horse that we let inside the gates, and this whole silly “Russian collusion” narrative is nothing but a fig leaf to cover Trump’s calculated betrayals.

  • John William

    All the hating on America. We made the world rich not the other way around.our polications don’t have a clue but they r far from evil we ain’t killing each other like the y’all using shit we invented to hate.we give billions away in food and medicine. We help with disaster relief people all around want to come here. It ain’t out fault y’all leaders fail you

    • John William

      I will say I believe since the end of cold war America is not needed for security unless working through UN. I wish we would pull back our forces n let Europa Taiwan Japan fend for theirself and I believe they would be fine. Russia n China doesn’t want war. They want respect and deserve respect

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      The world made the US rich and is getting tired of its bullying economies , time for the US to feel what can happen when the majority have had enough.

      • cortisol

        Just as quickly as the world made US rich through charity, they could crash it overnight. The only thing preventing this from happening is the Nato occupational forces and a few European politicians lobotomized in US universities.

        The US is over extended and all you consider the norm today is based on global domination at the minimum. Global domination status doesn’t last forever, the US empire is already visibly ripping apart in many places in the world. This is why the US administrational system is currently going totally berserk.

    • Ronald

      With respect , John William , when the CIA pulled down the elected government of Iran in 53 , and installed the Shah , it made US multinationals rich . The original 9/11 , the government of Chile was “replaced” by the CIA , making US multinationals rich .
      All the hating on America is a direct result of this “deep state” or hidden government . Just yesterday , John Brennan former Director of the CIA , was recommending a coup if Trump fired Muller .
      The government leaders of Iraq , Libya and Syria did not fail their people , the CIA took them out . In Syria , they tried but could not even bribe top generals to coup Assad .
      Its Americas leaders that have failed America .