External Content

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during a news briefing in the main building of Foreign Ministry in Moscow, December 15, 2008. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

(reuters_tickers)

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top Russian diplomat on Sunday lambasted the United States Congress for voting to sanction Russia, and warned of retaliation by Moscow.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov referred to a bill passed by Congress on Thursday to sanction his country as "weird and unacceptable," and said it was "the last straw."

"If the U.S. side decides to move further towards... deterioration, we will answer. We will respond in kind. We will ... retaliate," he said.

Ryabkov's comments came after Moscow ordered the United States on Friday to cut hundreds of diplomatic staff and said it would seize two U.S. diplomatic properties as a response to the new sanctions that were approved nearly unanimously by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Ryabkov confirmed that the seizing of the properties was in response to the bill, but declined to say what other measures Russia is willing to take if the United States continues to apply pressure.

"We have a very rich toolbox at our disposal," he said. "It would be ridiculous on my part to start speculating on what may or may not happen. We are not gamblers. We are people who consider things very seriously and very responsibly. But I can assure you that different options are on the table and consideration is being given to all sorts of things."

The United States-Russia relationship has become increasingly strained in the wake of U.S. intelligence agencies conclusion that the Kremlin interfered in the U.S. election to discredit Hillary Clinton and help President Donald Trump win the election.

Russia has denied meddling in the U.S. election.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the former director of the FBI, is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race and whether or not Trump's campaign may have colluded with Russia - an allegation that Trump and his associates have staunchly denied.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line


subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.







Click here to see more newsletters

WEF 2018

WEF Teaser 2018

Podcast

Reuters