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Russia vows all options on table in response to new US sanctions

 Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Moscow will have all options on the table to respond to new US sanctions against his country.

Ryabkov emphasized on Friday that the Kremlin had not yet detected any signs of Washington’s desire for normalizing ties, noting that the US was also attempting to revise tentative agreements reached last month between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Donald Trump during their Helsinki summit.

The development comes amid Russia’s diplomatic, economic and strategic measures to stave off possible impacts of the US sanctions. The measures include establishing closer diplomatic ties with Iran, Turkey, and the European Union, reducing holding of US treasury securities, and turning eastward in pursuit of a closer Eurasian partnership.

Earlier, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin described the new US sanction against Moscow as “a counterproductive and meaningless move.” His remarks came a day after Washington launched its latest round of sanctions targeting multiple Russian organizations and individuals.

Putin is largely believed to have already taken steps to honor his re-election pledge to defend his country against the impact of such sanctions.

The first of these moves, according to media reports, has been the strengthening of Russia’s relations with Turkey, Iran and the European Union.

Just after the renewal of US sanctions against Iran, Russia announced that it would maintain economic and trade cooperation with Tehran at the national level. On August 13, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov flew to Ankara to meet with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. During their meeting, both jointly slammed the American sanctions with Lavrov saying that the US sanctions failed “to hinder bilateral economic and trade cooperation between Russia and Turkey.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s Permanent UN Representative Vassily Nebenzia announced plans on Thursday to oppose a US request to the UN Security Council (UNSC) to blacklist two Russian shipping firms and six Russian-flagged vessels over their dealings with North Korea, which has also been a target of American sanctions.

Washington presented a request to a UN sanctions committee on Wednesday – its third try in two months to seek UN action and increase pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs.

The request was put forward a day after the US slapped unilateral sanctions on the two Russian companies – Primorye Maritime Logistics and Gudzon Shipping – and the six vessels for supplying oil to North Korea in alleged violation of UN sanctions.

Nebenzia, however, described the US sanctions as “illegal” and insisted that the evidence presented by Washington to justify action against the Russian firms was “unconvincing.”

“Of course we will oppose it,” he said of the US request to the sanctions committee. “It’s obvious.”

Moreover, Russia and China this month also blocked a US bid to add a Russian bank, a North Korean official and two entities to the UN sanctions blacklist. In July, they delayed a US request to cut off fuel deliveries to North Korea.

The two countries have called on the UN Security Council to consider easing sanctions to reward North Korea for opening up dialogue with the US and halting missile tests.

The Council adopted three rafts of sanctions last year that banned exports of North Korean raw commodities and other goods, and severely restricted its imports, including crucial deliveries of oil.

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