Russia warns of retaliation if US imposes new sanctions

Moscow: Moscow will definitely respond to new sanctions should the US decide to impose them, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Saturday.

The Ukraine Freedom Support Act approved Thursday by both houses of the US Congress testified to "the anti-Russian sentiments as well as attempts to impose decisions on us that are categorically unacceptable," Ryabkov told Interfax news agency.

Noting Russia was "certainly concerned by the sentiments of the Capitol Hill," he said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will "probably" raise this issue in a meeting with his US counterpart John Kerry in Rome Sunday.

Under the act to be signed by US President Barack Obama, Washington could provide lethal and non-lethal aid to Ukraine and impose additional sanctions against Russia.

It would also provide Ukraine with energy, defence sector, and civil society assistance, and expand broadcasting programmes to counter Russian propaganda in countries of the former Soviet Union.

Ryabkov called the act "inadmissible and scandalous," adding those who were behind it "have not had any comprehension of what is going on in the world."

The minister also said Washington's ambition to impose it will on the world, using such ways as sanctions, is to meet "radical reaction" from Russia.

The US, together with its allies, has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Moscow over its alleged destabilising role in the Ukraine crisis, seriously hitting Russia's economy as the most recent official report said the country will fall into recession in 2015.

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