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Russia says new US sanctions unacceptable, threatens retaliation

Russia on Thursday called new US sanctions outrageous and unacceptable, and threatened retaliation after Washington and the European Union ramped up punitive measures against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

“The US administration’s new decision to enforce sanctions against a number of Russian legal entities and individuals under a far-fetched, false pretext cannot be called anything other than outrageous and fully unacceptable,” deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency.

He added that Russia would retaliate without providing details.

“We condemn those politicians and officials who are behind such actions and confirm our intention to adopt measures which will be perceived in Washington rather painfully and acutely,” Ryabkov said.

“We are not after an immediate effect, we are not going to copy the methods of the US administration that provoke rejection, we will not yield to provocation and act in a calm manner,” he added.

The United States and Europe significantly strengthened sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine on Wednesday, with Washington for the first time directly targeting Russia’s banking, military and energy sectors.

The new blows against Russia deepened the most serious standoff between Moscow and the West since the end of the Cold War, as fighting between the Kiev government forces and pro-Russian separatists threatened to escalate into all-out civil war.