After U.S. treasury imposed yet another round of sanctions against Russian and Chinese companies over their alleged support of the North Korean regime, Moscow said it was preparing to take counter measures.
The latest sanctions target Russian and Chinese individuals and companies said to be working with North Korea.
“Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the American financial system,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said, and added: “It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region.”
China has already rejected the allegations and called the U.S. to “stop this wrongdoing and correct this immediately.”
Russia has responded in a similar manner, but Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov also said Moscow is preparing counter measures against new U.S. sanctions against Russian companies.
As a response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats and seizure of diplomatic property under the Obama administration, as well as new sanctions passed by Congress last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered U.S. embassy in Russia to cut its staff by more than 700 people.
But it is clear that the spiral of U.S. sanctions and Russian counter measures is not going to end with that.
Commenting on the U.S treasury sanctions, Ryabkov said:
Washington has made the same mistake again: on August 22, the US Treasury Department decided to expand the anti-Russia sanction lists, this time in line with the North Korean file. Four Russian citizens and one Russian company now face restrictions.
The US side continues to systematically destroy bilateral relations under a trend set by the Barack Obama administration. This is the fourth such incident since the new team took over the White House.
“In the meantime, we will get down to charting the retaliatory measures that are inevitable in this situation”, he added.