Relations between the US and Russia are at an all-time and very dangerous low, US President Donald Trump tweeted, adding that the Americans should blame the Congress for this turn of events.
On Wednesday, the US president put his signature to legislation imposing additional sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, and limiting his own ability to ease those restrictions without approval from Congress.
Trump said he had greenlit the unwanted act “for the sake of national unity,” despite the legislation being “seriously flawed” and having “clearly unconstitutional provisions.”
Earlier, both chambers of the US Congress voted with veto-proof majorities to approve the bill, seeking to punish Russia over a host of issues, including its support for the Syrian government, alleged backing for the rebels in Ukraine, as well as Crimea’s accession to Russia.
The sanctions target a wide array of entities and individuals – including Russia’s energy sector, banks, weapons manufacturers as well as those whom the US has accused of interfering in the presidential election through hacking and otherwise.
Following the signing, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Washington’s move has signaled the beginning of a fully-fledged economic war on Russia.
“The news on sanctions has shattered “hopes for improving our relations with the new US administration,” Medvedev tweeted, adding that the Trump Team “has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way.”
The US sanctions won’t be left without answer from Moscow and other capitals affected by the restrictions, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s press secretary, said on Thursday.
“We generally consider such sanction policy short-sighted, illegal and having no prospects,” Peskov said. “The countries which have faced such lawlessness intend to defend, and will defend, their interests and everybody should perceive this without equivocation,” he stressed.