Since President Trump first entered office, he has remained firm with Russia and has enforced a series of economic sanctions against the country.
Now, it seems Russia has been pushed to their limits.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev cautioned Trump and the United States that his country is prepared to retaliate with a number of options. The Russian leader said if the U.S. imposes any tougher sanctions against his country, then he will perceive the action as a “declaration of an economic war.”
“I would like not to comment on the talks about future sanctions, but there is one thing I can say: if measures like a ban on banking activities or the use of this or that currency follows, this can be clearly be described as a declaration of an economic war,” Medvedev said, as Washington Examiner reports.
Such a declaration would be met by economic, political, diplomatic, or potentially militaristic means, the Russian Prime Minister said.
“And this war will have to be responded – by economic, political and, if necessary, other means,” he continued. “And our American partners should realize this.”
Per the Washington Examiner:
The Trump administration this week imposed new sanctions against Russia in response to a chemical weapons attack on British soil that the West believes was sponsored by Russia. Those sanctions restrict Russia’s access to U.S. government financing and block some exports to Russia.
In November, Trump could move to block Russia’s access to international financing.
Russia has so far stopped short of saying it would retaliate, but Medvedev’s comment indicates it’s prepared to move if the U.S. takes further steps in the fall.
The latest back and forth is just the latest setback to U.S.-Russia relations since Trump’s July summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many criticized Trump for indicating on the same stage with Putin that he doubted U.S. intelligence officials who said Russia tried to meddle in the U.S. election.
An op-ed for the Washington Examiner describes how Trump’s calming language towards Russian President Vladimir Putin is much different than the firm actions taken by his administration. This strength, the op-ed argues, is a necessary component in the diplomatic struggle for peace between the two countries. The Trump administration has shown a willingness to help and cooperate with Russian but has also demonstrated it will not tolerate violations or unfairness.
From the Washington Examiner:
President Trump’s words are consistently too warm toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, but his administration’s actions continue to be appropriately strong. The administration on Wednesday announced new sanctions on Russia, in retaliation for Russia’s attempted assassination of a former British spy.
The U.S. sanctions won’t help warm U.S.-Russian relations, but in the long run, by applying pressure to Russia, they advance the cause of peace.
Russian agents tried to assassinate former British spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil with a nerve agent in March. A British bystander poisoned by the failed attack died last month. Russia has denied responsibility, but the U.S. and British intelligence communities have established with high confidence that Putin directly ordered the attack.