The Kremlin has threatened to end relations with the US: the line is crossed

“The imposition of sanctions on the head of state or Russia is a cross-border measure that should be compared to the termination of relations. What are you going to do Russia? Russia is always ready to do and will do only what is in the best interests of our country, “D. Peskov explained.

Commenting on a draft law drafted by the US Senate on sanctions against Putin, his environment, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and Russian banks in the event of an invasion of Ukraine, Peskov said Russia did not intend to show any reaction yet.

According to D. Peskovo, The Kremlin hopes for “at least some victory of common sense” and hopes that intended to have any effect on the country ’.

Mr Peskov called it absurd that sanctions against Nord Stream 2 were being linked to European security issues.

“This is just another example of our righteousness when it comes to: a) our concerns and b) the fact that there is nowhere to move, so it is time to address those concerns,” Peskov said.

The United States and its allies, NATO, held talks with Russia this week to ease tensions over Ukraine. Russia has concentrated tens of thousands of troops on the borders of this neighbor.

After two rounds of talks, Monday’s meeting in Geneva and Wednesday’s talks in Brussels, there are no signs of a breakthrough.

Peskov said on Thursday that the Kremlin was “extremely negative” about the US sanctions project, especially during the “failed” talks.

According to him, the discussion on sanctions does not help to create a “constructive atmosphere”.

The third round of talks was held in Vienna on Thursday, with a meeting of the world’s largest security group, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). A major breakthrough in these negotiations is also not expected.

According to D. Peskov, Russia “does not lack the political will” to continue the meetings, but it needs to see concrete results.

A Kremlin spokesman added that Moscow hoped to receive “concrete” written answers to its security demands in the coming days.

Negotiations, on which a lot has been put on the card, are taking place in fear of Russia’s invasion of pro-Western Ukraine. Moscow has demanded major concessions from Washington and its allies, and the West, for its part, is threatening to impose harsh sanctions on Ukraine in the event of an attack.

At the time, the country’s chief negotiator said on Thursday that Russia saw no reason to hold another round of security talks with the West in the coming days, as no progress had been made in talks so far.

“I see no reason to resume negotiations and start the same discussions in the coming days,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov told RTVI.

Russian Deputy Minister warns of ‘conflicts’

During the talks in Brussels on Wednesday, the Alliance’s Deputy Minister of Defense, Colonel-General Alexander Fomin, said that NATO’s disregard for Russia’s position created excellent conditions for new conflicts and incidents undermining Europe’s already degrading security architecture. Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defense reported this.

Mr Fomin noted that “Russia-NATO relations are currently critically weak.”

Alexander Fomin

© Stopkadras

“And this is against the backdrop of global instability, terrorist threats, another arms race and the complete degradation of Europe’s security architecture,” said Russia’s deputy defense minister.

“Russia has repeatedly suggested that the Alliance take steps to improve the situation. Only the Alliance ignores Russia’s initiatives and position, which creates excellent conditions for new conflicts and incidents, destroys the foundations of security, “the Russian Ministry of Defense quoted the country’s Deputy Minister of Defense as saying.

Mr Fomin identified three key issues that needed to be addressed:

guarantees that NATO will not pursue enlargement to the East at the expense of Ukraine and other countries;

commitments not to deploy new US medium- and short-range missiles in Europe;

restriction of military activities in Europe, stopping the development of so-called “front force battalion bases”.

U.S. senators are preparing sanctions

U.S. senators from President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party on Wednesday threatened major consequences if Russia invaded Ukraine, including sanctions on President Vladimir Putin and Russian banks, as well as $ 500 million. additional military assistance to Kiev worth $ 439.75 million.

The bill was presented to the United States and its allies following NATO talks with Russia and warning of the high cost of sending tens of thousands of Russian troops stationed along the Ukrainian border to a neighboring country.

“Together, we are sending a clear message: Putin does not need to ruin his entire economy or sacrifice the lives of his people in a futile attempt to redraw the map of Europe,” said Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill “acts as a powerful deterrent” as it provides for the immediate announcement of “paralyzing sanctions” should Russia invade Ukraine.

The “Act for the Defense of Ukraine’s Sovereignty” would provide a mandate for US sanctions against Putin and all Russian officials, as well as at least three major financial institutions.

Sanctions are also envisaged for services such as the international payment network SWIFT if they work with Russians on sanctions lists.

The bill also provides for 500 million. dollars worth of additional military aid Ukraineso that it could repel the Russian invasion. That’s twice as much as Mr Biden’s administration has given over the past year.

U.S. lawmakers from both major parties have taken a tough line against Putin, who denies Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine but has made strong security demands, including a demand that NATO refuse to accept Ukraine, which has been in conflict with Moscow-backed countries since 2014. pro-Russian separatists.

However, a Democrat-initiated bill has been tabled in Congress over Republicans led by Senator Tedo Cruz calling for a vote on sanctions on companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. Ukraine has long opposed this pipeline from Russia to Germany, fearing losing influence over the transit of gas to Europe through its territory.

Democrats agreed to vote, with Cruz no longer interfering with Biden’s ambassador appointment after a few months’ halt, but the presidential administration is putting pressure on the law not to pass an agreement with Germany to suspend the pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine.

Mr Cruz’s bill would undermine “our efforts to deter Russia” and take away “the leverage that the United States and our allies and partners currently have at home solely because of the political points,” said Emily Horne, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

According to her, the administration supports the Menendez bill because it provides a “high price for the Russian economy”.

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