Russia Condemns New "Draconian" Sanctions, Weighs Banning Rocket Engines To US

A furious Russia condemned a new round of U.S. sanctions as "draconian" on Thursday and threatened to retaliate as news of the measures sent the ruble tumbling to two-year lows and sparked a wider asset sell-off over fears that Moscow was locked in a spiral of never-ending sanctions.

“Such measures are absolutely unfriendly and can hardly be associated with the constructive - difficult but constructive - atmosphere at the last meeting of the two presidents,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call.

As reported yesterday, in the latest diplomatic attack launched by Trump, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it would impose fresh sanctions by the month’s end after determining that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain, something Moscow denies. The latest sanction announcement came just days after a bipartisan group of senators proposed a law mandating “crushing sanctions” - including on purchase of new sovereign debt and on big state banks - to punish Russia for election interference.

As NBC first reported, the new sanctions would come in two tranches:

  • The first, which targets U.S. exports of sensitive national-security related goods, comes with deep exemptions and many of the items it covers have already been banned by previous restrictions.
  • The second and more serious tranche, activated after 90 days if Moscow fails to provide “reliable assurances” it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or other international observer groups, could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending the state airline Aeroflot’s ability to fly to the United States and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

The added sanctions could include a downgrading in diplomatic relations, blanket bans on the import of Russian oil and exports of “all other goods and technology” aside from agricultural products, as well as limits on loans from U.S. banks. The U.S. also would have to suspend aviation agreements and oppose any multilateral development bank assistance.

Russia’s embassy in the United States responded to the diplomatic escalation, calling the new U.S. sanctions "draconian" and said the reason for the new restrictions, allegations it had poisoned the Skripals in Britain, was fabricated and far-fetched, and said Washington’s "findings" against it in the Skripal case were not backed by evidence.

“On August 8, 2018 our Deputy Chief of Mission was informed in the State Department of new ‘draconian’ sanctions against Russia for far-fetched accusations of using the ‘Novichok’ nerve agent against a UK citizen,” the embassy said in a statement.

“We have grown accustomed to not hearing any facts or evidence.”

Russia’s defiant response stopped short of specific measures pending more details on the U.S. plans, although officials said Russia may also respond by imposing restrictions on trade with the U.S. under a law passed earlier this year in response to an earlier wave of penalties. RIA Novosti reported the Russia may respond to new U.S. sanctions by banning supplies of RD-180 rocket engines. As a reminder, RD-180 engines, produced by Russia’s NPO Energomash, are used in Atlas V rockets of space contractor United Launch Alliance LLC, a partnership between Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

“The law allows the government to take retaliatory measures that are appropriate to the sanctions pressure,” said Dmitry Mezentsev, chairman of the economic policy committee in the upper house of parliament. “The Russian economy is big and stable enough that we aren’t scared by steps like this.”

Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs committee in the upper house of parliament, said imposition of the new limits would amount to "the behavior of a police state."

The news which came shortly after more details were revealed about an earlier set of proposed U.S. sanctions, sent Russian assets reeling and the ruble as low as 66.712 against the dollar, a fresh two-year low, and a 3-day drop of nearly 4%, and pushed stocks like Aeroflot and VTB, which could be targeted by some of the new restrictions, down as much as 6%.

The move also triggered a sell-off in Russian government bonds and the dollar-denominated RTS index fell to its lowest since April 11.

"It is clear that major sanctions actions are looming against Russia now either by the Administration, by Congress or both,” Tim Ash, a senior emerging-market strategist at Bluebay Asset Management LLC in London, said. “All bets are off."

Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center and a former colonel in the Russian army, said the State Department’s move looked like the latest salvo in what he called a hybrid war. “Sanctions are the U.S. weapon of choice,” Trenin wrote on Twitter. “They are not an instrument, but the policy itself. Russia will have to brace for more to come over next several years, prepare for the worst and push back where it can.”

There is still a possibility to avoid a full blown diplomatic war: the additional sanctions also could be averted if Trump declared that waiving them would be in the U.S. national interest, however that would be a politically risky move in light of criticism that he’s been too soft on Russia on issues including interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

"I don’t see a face-saving solution here,” said Vladimir Frolov, a foreign-policy analyst in Moscow and a former Russian diplomat.

Which, considering Trump's growing concerns about the upcoming conclusion of the Mueller probe of Russian collusion/interference, may be precisely the reason why the US president is so eager to appear as a stern enemy of Putin. And in the context of this escalating diplomatic feud, one wonders just what Trump really told Putin in that letter that Rand Paul delivered to the Russian president a few days ago.

Comments

PrivetHedge HankPaulson Thu, 08/09/2018 - 07:41 Permalink

Looking at the state of the west I think it will be soon a supply of cold western men for the use of hot russian brides - especially with all that free available farmland in east Russia they have.

Look at the benefits, no democrats, no GMO, no NSA/CIA/etc/etc/etc - just a regular life like in the US 40 years ago.

Also what Russian girl would want to move to the US?

In reply to by HankPaulson

Slaytheist ItsAllBollocks Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:51 Permalink

US does not fight wars, it wages financial destruction, upon itself and it's perceived corporate enemies.  The US has given it's latest tech, freely to Russia and China, so that they can catch up in weapons tech.

Then the MIC is given more of our stolen tax dollars to build new weapons, superior to the ones we gave away for free.  US Army is usually fighting people that fire back with US weapons.  What a fun game.  Not really a war.  It's just a game of death.  Business as usual. 

In reply to by ItsAllBollocks

Drop-Hammer ItsAllBollocks Thu, 08/09/2018 - 11:49 Permalink

Limey, the treacherous jew cunts who infest our government are behind this.  GEOTUS Trump is playing along, stringing them along.  He knows that there is no evidence that Russia was involved with that nerve agent (and even if there were, it is Russia and Britain's business and not ours).  GEOTUS Trump is humoring them until it no longer fits his purpose.

In reply to by ItsAllBollocks

BarkingCat Kayman Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:03 Permalink

Somewhere between Bush Sr. and Obama NASA lost the technical documents for US rockets that were developed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Probably because for more than 2 decades they relied on the space shuttle and those rockets were treated as old tech. It was also much cheaper to buy the Russian ones than build our own.

Bush Jr. grounded the space shuttle fleet with a plan to replace it with something new. Obama scrapped those plans and screwed up NASA turning it into a Muslim outreach agency.

In reply to by Kayman

MEFOBILLS Scar Bro Thu, 08/09/2018 - 11:33 Permalink

It is winning.  It is something like Judo, where the deep state is hoisted on their own petard.  Their narrative is being used against them.

 

Russia can now delink from SWIFT, as their alternative system is up and running.  They also have their MIR system working, which means credit cards from VISA and Mastercard can be avoided.

 

By forcing Turkey and Iran into Russian arms, that then means gas and oil is diverted away from Europe.  In other words, Europeans have to agree to the Sanctions passed by the Deep State.  This also means cutting off their energy inputs from Russia, Iran, and Turkey.

 

Trump is now seen as Russia's worst enemy (due to the new sanctions), and Globo Homos in Europe are forced to not buy Russian gas, or energy transited through Turkey, or even Iranian oil.  

 

The world "international" bankster globo-homos, who work with the deep state, are thus caught on Trumps pitch fork.

 

This winter, when the Euro-peons are forced to buy expensive LNG from America, or instead try to join Russia's MIR system to buy Russian Gas, then the Jig is up.

 

At that point, Trump can call out the globo homos and accuse them of being Russian stooges, and then Nato can be reformed, or the U.S. can pull out.  

 

Clinton and Obama's world "international" is in London, Wall Street, Tel Aviv, and Brussels.  The internal domestic enemy is the real enemy, not the "Russians."

 

(And yes, or echoing friends are heavily implicated, as always.)

In reply to by Scar Bro

SDShack MEFOBILLS Thu, 08/09/2018 - 11:59 Permalink

Yep, I've said for months that this is all just the USSA Deep Security State protecting the Petro$ at ALL costs. These aren't trade wars. They were fought in the 90's. This is a full blown world wide currency war. The Yen has been destroyed. The EU and Euro are next to be sacrificed. The real battle is now against the Russia/China/Middle East cabal. That has to be destroyed before it can get started, or else the currency wars MUST devolve into proxy wars, then hot wars. Last in line is crypto, the big unknown and ace in the hole for the USSA Deep Security State. If crypto is perceived as a threat by the USSA Security State to the Petro$, it will be destroyed just like any other currency. But if the USSA Security State can co-opt crypto to achieve it's only goal of perpetuating the Petro$, then that will be done. Lots balls in the air from lots of players so it's hard to determine the final outcome, but the intent of each of the major players is clear enough.

In reply to by MEFOBILLS

BarkingCat Keyser Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:52 Permalink

Anyone that doubts the truthfulness of that statement only needs to look at how many soldiers' lives were sacrificed for political reasons.

The lives of astronauts would be worth even much more in propaganda value.

One small problem for them, is that Russia can evacuate them themselves and still withhold the rockets.

In reply to by Keyser

One of these i… Keyser Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:15 Permalink

Nah, as long as they still have ONE working rocket motor they can just bus up a load of parachutes and a few spacesuits if there aren't already enough up there, and include Felix Baumgartner "how to" video..

IF they jump out a the right points in the orbit at least some of those astronauts will even save themselves the hassle of having to fly back home from the spaceport!

In reply to by Keyser

SoDamnMad Keyser Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:53 Permalink

Maybe Russia will halt deliveries of titanium forgings like the ones used in Boeing's and other aircraft's landing gear.  I saw small winged drones launched with rubber bands on a catapult, why not jets.  "Ladies and gentlemen,we are preparing for takeoff. If you have false teeth, please remove them and stow them in a convenient pocket"

In reply to by Keyser

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In reply to by Able Ape

PrivetHedge bluskyes Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:15 Permalink

Certainly in the Ukraine that's true, all the farmland is for Monsanto and the World Bank/IMF now. Nuland's coup there also reduced the desirability of Ukrainian women as you have to visit the Ukraine - not such a great proposition these days due to the nazis, civil war, epic corruption etc.

The Russian idea I think is to start with farms to kickstart the development of the east, I doubt it would stay as a few bleak farms for long: villages and towns tend to arrive as on gold-rush areas but in a more orderly fashion.

However I still reckon that anyone marrying a Russian has more of a future by living in a Russia on the way up than in a US that appears to be on the way down.. even if it is on a farm in the middle of nowhere - it probably depends how hot the bride is :)

In reply to by bluskyes

Bavarian PrivetHedge Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:48 Permalink

Russia has removed all GMO-related seeds and crops and don't allow that Monsato crap to infiltrate.  They produce huge amounts of pure organic food and intend to be the largest future exporter of this food. 

Regarding the women - Russia believes and restores natural beauty.  Women make the effort to look good and eat natural food and actually exercise to stay looking good and stay thin.  Russian women still wear heels and boots.  They look hot.

'Mercan women, not so much.  Flip flops (lazy), short boyish haircuts (erection prevention), mumu's (ughh), and eating like there's no tomorrow.  More than this, they overdo the equal rights effort and try to mimic and often replace men in the family. 

Who would you rather have as a wife? 

In reply to by PrivetHedge

Ms No bluskyes Thu, 08/09/2018 - 11:26 Permalink

My old landlord was tangled up with three over the years.  First one had a kid with him then divorced him for hot Russian guy.  Number two ditched prior to marriage over lack of income.  Number three Ms No cost him by revealing truth about him to competeition.  Both number one two and three considered themselves city girls.  None wanted to live rural.  Believe me, I heard all about it ad nauseum.  He was an exceptional piece of shit though, which I can only assume had a lot to do with his three failures.

Edit:  There are two other considerations here.  They may be needy but they aren't stupid.  If you were marrying due to necessity rather than preference would you risk getting stuck with a west Virginia pig farmer who wants to fuck you five times a day?  They wouldnt either.  Also Russian men wont take kindly to Yanks showing up for farmland and a wife.  Things will be tough for Americans going forward anywhere we land.

In reply to by bluskyes

bluskyes Ms No Thu, 08/09/2018 - 12:20 Permalink

The girl I am interested in, is well established in her chosen profession. She owns a house, and is not poor. 

Your point is well taken though. I met a lot of girls there, and there were some very heart-wrenching stories, especially from some of the war torn areas.  My experience with my first wife helped me keep clear of these situations this time.

My grandmother's parents were both Ukrainian, and I am very close to that grandmother, so the culture is a close fit for me. I am Canadian, so might not have it as tough as the Yanks, I don't know.

In reply to by Ms No