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Russian prime minister warns US against ramping up sanctions

AP  |  Moscow 

Russia's today sternly warned the against ramping up sanctions, saying that will retaliate with economic, political and unspecified "other" means.

The tough message from marked what the Kremlin sees as a red line, reflecting a growing dismay with the new US sanctions that already has sent the Russian ruble plummeting to its lowest level in two years.

The yesterday said that made the determination this week that had used the Novichok nerve agent to poison ex-Russian and his daughter in the British city of and that sanctions would follow later this month.

has strongly denied involvement in the

According to the State Department, those sanctions will include the presumed denial of export licenses for to purchase many items with national security implications.

Some reports indicated that a possible next wave of sanctions in the fall could target Russia's state-controlled banks and freeze their operations in dollars a move that would deal a heavy blow to the Russian economy.

Medvedev warned the US that such a move would cross a red line.

"If something like a ban on or currency use follows, it will amount to a declaration of economic war," he said. "And it will warrant a response with economic means, political means and, if necessary, other means. Our American friends should understand that."

Medvedev's tough tone was in stark contrast with past statements by and his lieutenants, who have taken a nonchalant posture while talking about US and other Western sanctions, seeking to downplay their impact on the Russian economy.

The announcement of new US sanctions has rattled the Russian currency and stock markets.

The ruble plummeted to its lowest level since August 2016 in early trading today.

Russia-US ties have sunk to their lowest level since amid tensions over Ukraine, the war in and the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US

Medvedev said while the US says that the sanctions are intended to punish Russia's "bad" behavior, their real goal is to sideline a rival.

"It's intended to remove as a strong competitor on the international arena," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, August 10 2018. 14:55 IST
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