US President Joe Biden has described Russia's Vladimir Putin as having no soul, and that he will pay a price for alleged Russian meddling in the 2020 US presidential election. Picture: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST
US President Joe Biden has described Russia's Vladimir Putin as having no soul, and that he will pay a price for alleged Russian meddling in the 2020 US presidential election. Picture: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST

Moscow — The Kremlin said on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would decide what counter sanctions to impose on Washington, a day after US President Joe Biden hit Moscow with an array of punitive measures, but gave no indication of timing.

On Tuesday, the US government blacklisted Russian companies, expelled Russian diplomats and barred US banks from buying sovereign bonds from Russia’s central bank, national wealth fund and finance ministry.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Moscow is mulling its response. “The principle of reciprocity for such matters has not been cancelled, but everything will depend on the decisions made by the [Russian] head of state.”

Peskov did not say when Putin would decide on counter sanctions, though Russia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that retaliatory sanctions would come soon. He added that the Kremlin has yet to decide on Putin’s possible participation in a US-led climate summit.

“Their views categorically do not coincide when it comes to creating mutually beneficial relations and taking each other’s interests into account,” Peskov said of Putin and Biden.

Peskov said the Russian leader has repeatedly said that Russia is ready to co-operate with the US as much as Washington wants to co-operate with Moscow.

The US sanctions were a response to Moscow’s alleged meddling in last year’s US election, cyber-hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged malign actions. Russia denies all the allegations.

Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the US, was recalled to Moscow in March amid deteriorating ties. He attended a meeting at the Russian foreign ministry on Friday. 

Reuters

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