Days after Russia announced that it will reduce the number of U.S. diplomatic staff, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Rossiya 1 TV channel that he decided it was time to show Russia will not leave anything unanswered. Putin referred to the expulsion of Russian diplomatic and seizure of two diplomatic compound under the Obama administration, but also to the latest round of sanctions imposed on Russia.
The American side has made a move which, it is important to note, hasn’t been provoked by anything, to worsen Russian-US relations. [It includes] unlawful restrictions, attempts to influence other states of the world, including our allies, who are interested in developing and keeping relations with Russia.
We’ve been waiting for quite a long time that maybe something would change for the better, we had hopes that the situation would change. But it looks like, it’s not going to change in the near future… I decided that it is time for us to show that we will not leave anything unanswered.
Russian measures came after U.S. Congress passed a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.
Russia has voiced its disapproval of the new sanctions. At the same time, the EU also criticized new sanctions, stating that the sanctions were passed without the U.S. consulting its European partners, fearing European economic interests could suffer as a result.
The latest round of sanctions could prevent the sitting administration from seeking better relations with Russia.