Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Medvedev: Ends hopes for improved relations with new US administration

Russia’s PM says new sanctions «is a declaration of a full-fledged economic war on Russia.»
August 03, 2017

Dmitry Medvedev slams U.S. President Donald Trump for signing the bill approving new sanctions against Russia.

In a Facebook-post, the Russian Prime Minister gives no hope for pushing a reset button soon.

«The US President’s signing of the package of new sanctions against Russia will have a few consequences. First, it ends hopes for improving our relations with the new US administration. Second, it is a declaration of a full-fledged economic war on Russia,» Medvedev writes.

He continues by calling the Trump administration weak.

«The Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way. This changes the power balance in US political circles.»

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Trump’s signature on the new sanctions bill passed by the Congress comes after Russia’s alleged meddling in last year’s presidential elections.

The sanctions bill is aimed at hurting Russia’s oil and gas production - and by that - the country’s economy. If the energy sector will suffer heavily remains to see. In the Arctic, U.S. oil major ExxonMobile three years ago had a comprehensive test-drilling campaign together with Russia’s Rosneft in the Kara Sea. This summer, a Chinese oil rig is the only one drilling offshore in the Kara Sea.

With U.S. and European companies pulling out of Russian Arctic waters, a window of opportunities could open for a boost in Russian-Chinese energy cooperation in the Arctic.

Chief executive of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, says in a comment to the Financial Times on Thursday that his company is in a position to take advantage.

«The sanctions are beginning to backfire on those who are introducing them, which is positive,» Sechin says.

Dmitry Medvedev writes in his Facebook-post that Russia will cope with the sanctions.

«We will steadily continue our work on developing the economy and social sector, take efforts to substitute imports, and solve major national tasks, relying mostly on ourselves. We have learned to do so in the past few years, in conditions of almost closed financial markets as well as foreign investors’ and creditors’ fear of investing in Russia upon penalty of sanctions against third parties and countries. To some extent, this has even been to our advantage, although sanctions are meaningless overall. We will cope,» Dmitry Medvedev writes.

He sees a period where relations between Russia and the United States are going to be «extremely tense.»

«The sanctions regime has been codified and will remain in effect for decades unless a miracle happens,» the Prime Minister says.

 

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