Russia vowed to retaliate for a wave of new sanctions President Joe Biden announced against the country on Thursday, saying “Washington must realize that a price will be paid for bilateral relations’ degradation.”
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it summoned U.S. Ambassador to Russian John Sullivan shortly after the Thursday sanctions announcement. The Russian Foreign Ministry said, “The Ambassador was told that a series of retaliatory measures would follow shortly.”
Russia criticized the Biden administration’s sanctions, saying they are “contrary to the declared intention to ‘build pragmatic relations with Russia.’”
Russian Foreign Ministry also tweeted a statement from spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who said, “U.S. aggressive behaviour will certainly lead to a decisive rebuff; there will be an inevitable response to the sanctions. Washington must realize that a price will be paid for bilateral relations’ degradation. The responsibility lies entirely with the U.S.”
Sullivan confirmed the meeting with his Russian counterparts in a Thursday statement, saying, “We have been clear that we desire a relationship with Russia that is stable and predictable. However, we have also been clear – publicly and privately – that we will defend our national interests and impose costs on the Russian government for its actions that seek to harm our sovereignty, or our allies, partners, and values.”
In response to the U.S. sanctions, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the Russian state-run Russia Today (RT) tweeted, “Returning Donbas home can be considered an asymmetric response? For example.”
The Ukrainian-controlled Donbas region is home to many ethnic Russians. Russia’s military has been in a low-intensity fight with Ukraine in the Donbas region since 2014 and has supported pro-Russian separatists in the region. There has been a massive Russian military buildup along the Ukrainian border near Donbas in recent weeks.