RUSSIA’S Washington embassy hit out yesterday at US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s weekend suggestion that fresh anti-Moscow sanctions signified a desire for improved bilateral relations.
Mr Tillerson said that the overwhelming House of Representatives and Senate votes in favour of sanctions “represent the strong will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States.”
He hoped that “potential future US-Russia cooperation would make the sanctions unnecessary at some point.”
Mr Tillerson also pledged to “work closely with our friends and allies to ensure our messages to Russia, Iran and North Korea are clearly understood.”
However, the Russian embassy said that the new sanctions “cannot but raise eyebrows,” adding: “Washington still doesn’t get the fact that pressure never works against Russia. Bilateral relations can hardly be improved by sanctions.”
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that “adoption of the new sanctions Bill is an obvious indication that relations with Russia are being dragged down by political infighting in the United States.
“Moreover, the new Bill uses political means to create a dishonest competitive advantage for the US in the global economy. This blackmail aimed at restricting Russia’s co-operation with its foreign partners threatens many countries and international businesses.”
Close US ally Germany has already indicated that it opposes anti-Russia sanctions, believing them to serve US industrial policies alone.
But the White House said President Donald Trump is happy with the Bill and will sign it into law, after which it can be reversed only by Congress.