Russia’s Foreign Ministry has announced plans to take numerous measures in response to US sanctions, which US President Joe Biden has said he wants to go further.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said his country will expel 10 US diplomats in response to US behavior and place 8 US officials on the Russian sanctions list.
He said his country could ask Washington to reduce the number of staff at its diplomatic missions in Russia to 300.
He added that Moscow would stop the work of non-profit institutions and US funds in Russia that interfere in Russia’s internal affairs, noting that his country has the potential to take painful action against US companies in Russia. , but he will keep it as a reserve. .
But the Russian minister said Moscow wants to avoid further escalation with Washington, but waves of US sanctions will not go unanswered, as he said.
Regarding the proposal to hold a US-Russian summit, Lavrov said his country is still studying various aspects of holding the summit and is taking this initiative in a positive way.
On Thursday, the United States announced the expulsion of 10 diplomats from the Russian mission in Washington and the imposition of sanctions on Russian individuals and entities accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
In coordination with the European Union, Britain, Australia and Canada, the Treasury Department punished 8 people linked to Russian occupation and oppression in Crimea, which Russia annexed to the Ukraine in 2014. Advertising
US President Joe Biden said in a speech that he has decided to respond to Russian interference in the US elections, adding that if Russia continues to attack US democracy, Washington is ready to escalate.
Biden said he told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that Washington could go beyond sanctions, “but I chose not to and I chose to act proportionately.”
The White House said the new sanctions came in response to Russian interference in the election, malicious activity online and the murder of US citizens.
For its part, Moscow has called the US sanctions policy against Russia unacceptable, stressing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is studying measures to respond to them.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that his country did not set the conditions for a possible meeting between Putin and the American president, but indicated that the Russian president will need time to study Washington’s proposal and that he has repeatedly expressed Moscow’s desire to develop dialogue as much. like the other side is ready for it.
The next summit
Before the issuance of the new US sanctions, the Kremlin had said that these sanctions would reduce the chances of holding a summit between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and the former proposed to the latter a few days ago hold a summit in a third country in order to correct the tense relations between the two countries.
After sanctions were imposed on Moscow, the White House said Biden’s invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit was still valid. White House spokeswoman Jane Saki added that Washington believes that holding the summit would be a good step forward towards a stable and balanced relationship “between the two countries.
Russia denies interfering in the US election or staging a cyber attack that used US tech company Solar Windows to penetrate US government networks.