“It’s impossible to endlessly tolerate this kind of insolence towards our country,” Putin said on Thursday, referring to a recent vote in the US House of Representatives, where lawmakers endorsed an anti-Russia sanctions bill.
Putin, who was speaking at a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in Savonlinna, said Russia’s patience with the US was waning as Washington was continuing to impose back-to-back sanctions on Moscow.
He said Moscow would definitively respond to the new US measures, adding that the size and scale of a possible response would depend on how Washington would decide to go on with the sanctions, which should be ratified in the Senate and signed by US President Donald Trump before it becomes law.
“We are behaving in a very restrained and patient way, but at some moment we will need to respond,” Putin said, adding, “When the response will be and what it will be — that we will see.”
Russia has been under a series of US sanctions since a crisis began in Ukraine in 2014. The new measures, however, come after Russia was accused of interfering in the US presidential election last year. Moscow denies any involvement in both cases. Officials in Moscow say new US bans on Russia would harm the interests of both nations.
In his remarks, Putin said investigations into alleged collusion between Russian officials and Trump’s campaign aides in last year’s elections were a sign of “a rise in anti-Russian hysteria” in the US. He called the case all but a “battle between President Trump and his political opponents,” adding that “Russian-US relations are being sacrificed to resolve questions of domestic politics.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Putin said warmer ties between Washington and Moscow would help the two sides achieve better results in the “fight with terrorism,” adding that if the two act in agreement, they “could solve very acute problems much more effectively.”