Putin denounces latest sanctions passed by US Senate

Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday slammed fresh sanctions approved by the US Senate as coming “out of nowhere” and motivated by domestic politics and historical efforts by the West to “contain” Russia. “We know that currently there is a bill in the US Senate regarding toughening sanctions. Why? Nothing extraordinary is happening. Why did they start to talk about sanctions again out of nowhere?” Putin said at his annual phone-in with Russian citizens. “Of course this is evidence of the continuing domestic political battle in the US, but it is completely out of nowhere. If it wasn’t for Crimea, if it wasn’t for other problems, they would think of other reasons to contain Russia,” he said. The US Senate voted to approve further sanctions against Russia over alleged election meddling Wednesday. The bill would also bar President Donald Trump from unilaterally easing existing sanctions imposed since 2014 over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and meddling in Ukraine. Putin however said Crimea was merely an excuse for the West to hurt an economic competitor. “Whenever our partners in the world have felt that Russia is a serious competitor, they have used various pretexts to impose limitations,” he argued.—APP

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