Following President Joe Biden's announcement of the "first tranche" of what were relatively minor and meager sanctions on some Russian banks and individuals, Moscow's ambassador to the United States has appealed to the American public, warning that in the end "ordinary" US citizens will feel the pain.
"I don’t remember a single day when our country lived without any restrictions from the Western world. We learned how to work in such conditions. And not only survive, but also develop our state," said Ambassador Anatoly Antonov via a Russian Embassy Facebook post on Wednesday.
He was repeating a familiar Kremlin line of late - that the economy is ready to become "fortress Russia" and can endure anything Washington imposes for a long time. But the question remains: can common Americans endure the sure to come higher gas prices, coming off the pandemic and amid significant inflation?
"There is no doubt that the sanctions imposed against us will hurt the global financial and energy markets," Amb. Antonov emphasized. "The United States will not be left out, where ordinary citizens will feel the full consequences of rising prices."
"With regard to Moscow, new US sanctions will not solve anything, Russia has learned to work and develop under restrictions," he reiterated.
Biden in his Tuesday address tried to preview that there indeed may be some pain at the pump, saying in the speech from the White House he plans to use "every tool at our disposal" to mitigate rising prices. This has included a scramble to get Asian, African and Middle East energy companies to step up with alternate supplies to Europe.
Russian Ambassador in the U.S. Anatoly Antonov retorted on Facebook that “sanctions cannot solve a thing. It is hard to imagine that there is a person in Washington who expects Russia to revise its foreign policy under a threat of restrictions.”https://t.co/SyXpDkZ4ij— Bruno J. Navarro (@Bruno_J_Navarro) February 23, 2022
A Tuesday note from JPMorgan seems to concur...
"An energy price shock amidst an aggressive central bank pivot focused on inflation could further dampen investor sentiment and growth outlook,” fresh analysis from the bank issued Tuesday to clients said.
"Indirect risks are potentially more substantial, which could include slower global growth and consumer spending due to higher oil and food prices, negative second-order effects through Europe, supply chain distortions, credit and asset writedowns, and cybersecurity risks," the bank added.
Meanwhile on Wednesday Russia's foreign ministry said it's preparing counter-measures in direct response to Biden's initial sanctions. "There should be no doubts - the sanctions will result in a strong response, not necessarily symmetric, but well-calculated and painful for the American side," a ministry statement said.