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Iran Press TV

Russia warns of further retaliation against US

Iran Press TV

Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:45PM

A top Russian diplomat has warned that expulsion of US diplomats and seizure of US diplomatic properties would not suffice as a response to a recent barrage of sanctions imposed by Washington on Moscow, warning that more retaliatory moves would come if the US decides to go further.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Sunday that Moscow was carefully pondering what could come next in response to the Thursday's passage of controversial sanctions in the US Senate.

"If the US side decides to move further towards... deterioration, we will answer. We will respond in kind. We will ... retaliate," Ryabkov said, calling the Congress bill "weird and unacceptable," and saying it was "the last straw."

The senior diplomat confirmed that Moscow's Friday move to order a drastic reduction in the number of US diplomatic staff and seizure of two diplomatic compounds was a response to the new sanctions, but he said that if the United States decides to apply pressure, Russia has "a very rich toolbox" at its disposal to react.

"It would be ridiculous on my part to start speculating on what may or may not happen. We are not gamblers. We are people who consider things very seriously and very responsibly. But I can assure you that different options are on the table and consideration is being given to all sorts of things," Ryabkov said.

Russia has been subject to some unprecedented US and European Union sanctions since a crisis began in Ukraine in 2014. The new sanctions came over Russia's alleged role in Ukraine and also unproven claims that Moscow colluded with President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign last year. Russia has denied any involvement in both cases.

Russia had earlier warned of a diplomatic retaliation to a decision in final days of President Barack Obama in office when he ordered expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats and confiscation of diplomatic properties.

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