Putin warns sanctions will backfire on US


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday warned new sanctions the United States imposed against Russian businesses a day earlier will backfire against U.S. companies operating in Russia.

In televised comments, Putin said the sanctions are “driving into a corner” relations between the two countries and will damage the interests of U.S. companies and “the long-term national interests of the U.S. government and people,” according to The Associated Press

"We consider the new round of American sanctions against Russia as a primitive attempt to take vengeance for the fact that events in Ukraine are not playing out to the tune of the script of Washington," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Putin did not address sanctions imposed by the European Union, the AP noted, but the foreign ministry said Europe is "giving in to the bullying of the U.S. administration."

The Obama administration on Wednesday unveiled a new round of sanctions targeting two major Russian banks — Gazprombank and Vneshconombank — and two major Russian energy firms — Novatek and Rosneft Oil Company. Russia’s government owns Rosneft, holds a major stake in Gazprombank and uses Vneshconombank.

The EU also announced new sanctions, urging the European Investment Bank to sign no new financing agreements with Moscow. 

BBC News reports markets have fallen by more than 2.5 percent in Russia after the sanctions announcement. Shares in Rosneft have fallen 5.4 percent and Novatek has fallen 6.8 percent.

A military spokesman in Kiev, meanwhile, accused Russia on Thursday of shooting down a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet that was on military operations on Wednesday in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s national Defense and Security Council, said a rocket strike brought the plane down Wednesday night and the pilot ejected safely.