Due to the additional sanctions put in place this week by the Trump Treasury Department, Russian officials are now considering retaliatory sanctions against the United States.
Though Russian President Vladimir Putin called such retaliation “premature” earlier this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov recently opened up to the possibility for such action saying, “It goes without saying that the main principle of reacting to sanctions is reciprocity.”
The U.S. Treasury sanctions are against 38 individuals and organizations for their involvement in separatist movements in Ukraine. The Senate also passed a Russia sanctions bill June 15 that has been held up in the House for procedural reasons. The Senate bill penalizes Russia for its meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
These sanctions come at a time when Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is being investigated by Congress and may signal a harsher, more aggressive rebuke of Russia’s actions.
In addition to attaching additional sanctions on Russia, the Senate’s action also restricted the ability of President Trump to lift any existing sanctions against Russia, somewhat diminishing the president’s foreign policy power.
While the extent to Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election has yet to be fully revealed, any Russian retaliation to U.S. sanctions would present a considerably more public confrontation between the two nations.
Peskov, however, noted that both Trump and Putin may meet at next month’s G-20 Summit in Germany to discuss any possible retaliation but that “nothing concrete has so far been agreed.”