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Russia vows strong and painful response to US sanctions

“There should be no doubt that there will be a strong response to the sanctions, not necessarily proportionate, but well-calculated and painful for the American side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The announcement by the Russian Foreign Ministry came after US President Joe Biden imposed sanctions on Moscow on Tuesday for “starting” the invasion of Ukraine, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reference to his deployment of soldiers outside Russia’s borders.

Biden revealed the first package of sanctions against Russia, noting that the United States will impose sanctions on the Russian elite and their families, stressing that the first package of sanctions against Russia begins now, and that the United States has imposed harsh sanctions on two Russian banks already.

Biden warned Moscow: “Russia will pay a heavy price if it continues its behavior,” noting that sanctions will isolate Russia from the Western financial system.

“We will impose broad sanctions on Russian sovereign debt,” Biden explained. “This means that we are cutting off the Russian government from Western funding.”

Sanctions so far include canceling work with the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, full embargo sanctions on VEB Bank, the Russian Military Bank, and Russia’s sovereign debt.

Britain and the European Union also announced their intention to impose similar sanctions, which will include Russian banks, “wealthy individuals” and Russian lawmakers who supported recognition of the independence of the separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, “Lugansk and Donetsk.”

“Reuters” quoted a diplomat in the European Union as saying that the bloc’s member states had given the green light, through their envoys to Brussels, to impose the first package of sanctions on Russia.

Sanctions still need official approval from foreign ministers, something that will be dealt with in a written procedure, and can be taken for granted after the decision of the EU envoys.

The sanctions will take effect as soon as they are published in the union’s official gazette, a move expected later on Wednesday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced the imposition of economic sanctions on Russia, describing what Moscow is doing against Ukraine as “an additional invasion of a sovereign country, which is totally unacceptable.”

“We will ban Canadians from engaging in the purchase of Russian government debt, impose additional sanctions on Russian state-backed banks and block any financial dealings with them,” Trudeau said.

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