Russia vows ‘tough retaliatory measures’ against ‘unfriendly’ Western sanctions, hints at spread of war

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The Kremlin is vowing “tough retaliatory measures,” hinting at attacks and the further spread of war in response to stiff economic sanctions being imposed by the United States and Europe after Russia invaded Ukraine in a full-scale assault this week.

“The EU’s new unfriendly steps against Russia – as well as our brothers DNR and LNR – will not be able to stop our progressive development,” Russia’s foreign ministry asserted, referring to Ukraine’s separatist regions.

“In accordance with the principle of reciprocity, which is fundamental to international law, we will take tough retaliatory measures,” the foreign ministry promised in a statement. However, it is unclear what those measures would entail.

Decisions on retaliation will be solely based on Russia’s own interests according to Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov who commented on the situation Friday via the Russian News Agency.

“Of course, we will follow up with retaliatory measures,” Peskov commented, adding that the severity of the retaliatory measures will depend on the analysis of the situation.

“All these restrictions still need to be analyzed,” he noted. “Of course, during this analysis, the main concern will be our own interests. That is, we will act solely based on our own interests.”

“To anyone who would consider interfering from the outside, if you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history,” Russian President Vladimir Putin warned as well.

(Video Credit: The National News)

Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that, in response to a request by the heads of the Donbas republics, he has made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.” The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories. That statement is not reflected in reality as tanks roll into Kyiv and bombs explode across the Ukrainian landscape.

President Joe Biden along with European allies have announced unprecedented sanctions against Russia following the commencement of the invasion. Although the sanctions take aim at certain banks and oligarchs, they evidently do not apply to Putin himself and the United States is still taking oil from Russia. The president also did not cut Russia off from the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) international banking system – which would significantly hinder Russia’s participation in global markets.

The United States has declared the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project dead this week after Russia sent troops to eastern Ukrainian breakaway regions, the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic.

Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences,” Biden stated on Thursday. “Today, I am authorizing additional strong sanctions and new limitations on what can be exported to Russia. This is going to impose severe costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.”

(Video Credit: TODAY)

Biden announced sanctions on four large Russian banks including VTB and Sberbank, additional Russian elites and family members, and restrictions on Russia’s sovereign debt to state-owned enterprises.

“Sir, sanctions clearly have not been enough to deter Vladimir Putin to this point,” stated ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega. “What is going to stop him? How and when does this end? And do you see him trying to go beyond Ukraine?”

No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening,” Biden confusingly replied. “It has to – it’s going to take time, and we have to show resolve. So, he knows what is coming. And so the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them.” This is the exact opposite of what he previously claimed concerning sanctions.

Biden believes the sanctions will “cut off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports.”

He said, “We’ll strike a blow to their ability to continue to modernize their military. It will degrade their aerospace industry, including their space program. It will hurt their ability to build ships, reducing their ability to compete economically. And it will be a major hit to Putin’s long-term strategic ambitions.”

“America stands up to bullies,” Biden blustered on Thursday. “We stand up for freedom. This is who we are.”

“Liberty, democracy, human dignity. These are the forces far more powerful than fear and oppression,” he remarked. “They cannot be extinguished by tyrants like Putin and his armies.”

Many contend that Biden’s lack of action belies his words. Standing by and watching Russia forcibly invade Ukraine is anything but standing up to bullies and it certainly doesn’t show a willingness to fight for the freedom of countries battling tyranny despite the president’s hyperbole.

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