(File Photo) US President Joe Biden Photograph:( Reuters )
The sanctions have come in retaliation for what the US says is Kremlin's interference in US elections and other hostile activities including a massive cyber attack
The United States on Thursday announced economic sanctions on Russia and expelled 10 diplomats. This has come in retaliation for what the US says is Kremlin's interference in US elections and other hostile activities including a massive cyber attack.
The White House said that US President Joe Biden's executive order on sanctions " "sends a signal that the United States will impose costs in a strategic and economically impactful manner on Russia if it continues or escalates its destabilising international action".
US found support from its NATO allies as it slapped sanctions on Russia. The bloc supported the move taken in response to Moscow's "destabilising activities", an alliance statement said.
"NATO Allies support and stand in solidarity with the United States, following its 15 April announcement of actions to respond to Russia's destabilising activities," the statement said.
Russia talks tough
Russian reaction on US sanctions has expectedly been tough. Russian foreign ministry on Thursday said that it was "unavoidable" that Moscow would respond to sanctions. It also said that it had called Washington`s ambassador in Moscow for 'tough talks'.
Russian foreign ministry also said that Biden's decision to slap sanctions on Russia contradicted his stated desire to normalise ties.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the United States` hostile steps had dangerously raised the temperature of a confrontation between Moscow and Washington and that it would have to pay for damaging bilateral ties.
Earlier, Kremlin expressed its displeasure as news of potential US sanctions did rounds in US media. Russia said at that time that going ahead with sanctions would "not help" a possible summit between Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"What is currently being discussed -- likely sanctions -- will in no way help such a meeting. That is unambiguous," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists, as reported by news agency AFP.
Tensions between Russia and the West have been rising in recent weeks amid Russia's troop buildup near Russia-Ukraine border. The separatists in Ukraine's Donbass region have caused violence. Ukraine alleges that the separatists enjoy support from Moscow, a claim Russian denies. The US has assured Ukraine of help in the the current situation.
(With inputs from agencies)