The Kremlin said today that it would respond according to the principle of reciprocity to the new U.S. sanctions, but that “everything will depend on the decision” taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“In these matters no one has overruled the principle of reciprocity, it is fundamental,” Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in his daily telephone press conference.
At the same time, he stressed that Moscow’s response “will depend on the decision taken by the head of state,” who will meet with members of the Russian Security Council at his residence in Novo-Ogariovo, on the outskirts of the Russian capital, later today.
Peskov said the Kremlin appreciates the coincidence of views of the Russian President and his U.S. counterpart on the need for de-escalation in bilateral relations.
“You know that President Putin has spoken about the desirability of normalization and de-escalation of relations (with the USA),” the spokesman recalled, stressing that “it is positive that the views of the two heads of state coincide on this.”
At the same time, he stressed that the approaches of the two presidents “do not coincide in the understanding that relations should be built on the basis of mutual benefit and taking into consideration the interests of each of the parties”.
In addition, Peskov stressed that “the sanctioning zeal” of the U.S. side “remains unacceptable.”
This Thursday, the United States imposed sanctions on Russia for its alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election and its alleged role in the massive SolarWinds cyberattack, in addition to imposing punishments related to Russian actions in Ukraine and Afghanistan.
President Biden’s administration also announced the expulsion from the United States of ten members of the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington, including members of the Intelligence services.
In addition, the White House formally accused the Russian Foreign Espionage Service (SVR) of having “perpetrated” the massive cyberattack that allegedly began in 2019 and penetrated the systems of the U.S. government and large companies through a program of the SolarWinds company.
In total, Washington’s new sanctions affect 6 Russian companies for cyber espionage activities, 32 Russian organizations and individuals for election interference, and 8 individuals and entities for Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.