update (0938ET): Russia was quick to threaten that swift retaliation is coming, with the tit-for-tat ramping up once again as tensions over Ukraine are on a knife’s edge. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova countered that “such aggressive behavior will undoubtedly trigger a resolute retaliation.”
She announced that the ministry has now summoned the US ambassador to Moscow for a “hard conversation” but didn’t reveal details of what form the retaliation will take.
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“Washington should realize that it will have to pay a price for the degradation of the bilateral ties,” Zakharova said, asserting that “the responsibility for that will fully lie with the United States.”
Meanwhile that hoped-for face-to-face summit Biden proposed for he and “killer” Putin this week to be held “in a third country in the coming months” is definitely off…
BREAKING: The Kremlin says no summit between Vladimir Putin & Joe Biden can be arranged in the “near future.”
It comes as US media reports the Americans are set to impose more sanctions on Russia. https://t.co/YSn0YgMmwc
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) April 15, 2021
update (0853ET): As expected the White House and Treasury’s actions against Russia today are sweeping and have some serious teeth, with the US expelling ten of its diplomatic personnel from the Russian Embassy in Washington, which is said to include intelligence officials.
Further, the US will ban American banks from buying new Russian sovereign debt starting June 14. The White House fact sheet detailing the Biden executive order’s multi-layered action details:
Treasury issued a directive that prohibits U.S. financial institutions from participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation; and lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.
The directive further notes the “authority for the U.S. government to expand sovereign debt sanctions on Russia as appropriate.” The measures sparked a sell-off in Russian assets, with the rouble immediately dropping as much as 2.2% in early trading, coming to settle at 1.5% down to trade at 76.89 hours later.