Russia threatens asymmetric response to new sanctions

Russia’s prime minister warned in an interview published Monday that Moscow would respond “asymmetrically” if the United States and Europe impose new sanctions.

“If there are sanctions related to the energy sector, or further restrictions on Russia's financial sector, we will have to respond asymmetrically,” Dmitry Medvedev told Russian daily Vedomosti, according to The Guardian.

Medvedev suggested one possible retaliatory move could entail preventing airlines from flying through Russian airspace. 

Such a ban "could drive many struggling airlines into bankruptcy,” he said, BBC News reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

The European Union had agreed to new economic sanctions, set to take effect on Monday, that would restrict Russia’s access to capital markets, defense equipment and dual-use goods used for military purposes.

A cease-fire reached on Friday, however, appears to still be holding, which could delay new sanctions. Medvedev seemed to dismiss the peace agreement as a solution to the months-long crisis.

"Unfortunately, the Ukraine crisis continues unabated, which is a terrible tragedy," Medvedev said. "Hopefully it will be resolved, provided the Ukrainian leaders show goodwill and seize the proposals put forward by Russia."

Obama administration officials hinted at new sanctions last week that would hit Russia’s energy sector.