On Tuesday, May 15th, Russian Senate head Valentina Matvienko made several statements on current trends in US-Russian relations, specifically addressing the US-imposed economic sanctions and Russia’s incoming counter-measures.
According to Matvienko, the continued imposition of sanctions on Russia, and responsive counter-sanctions from Moscow, will have a negative impact on many North American economic sectors.
“Experience has shown that response measures are generally the most effective and efficient because of the boomerang effect. The law on counter-measures against the USA, which will soon enter into force […], will undoubtedly have negative consequences that will affect US companies as well as several US economic areas,” Valentina Matvienko suggested.
However, the senator stressed that the sanctions will not hurt areas that would cause damage to Russian citizens: most notably, the bill does not restrict the import of American medicine and medical equipment.
Valentina Matvienko pointed out that if Western countries completely abandon the illegitimate policy of sanctions on Russia, then Moscow will reciprocally cancel its counter-sanctions.
“The ineffectiveness and dead-end nature of the policy that the US is pursuing is very evident to its allies, which causes them to be dissatisfied, especially in the sphere of business. We believe that common sense in Western countries will finally prevail,” she said.
“There is only one way out, and that is to cancel the West’s policy of sanctions against Russia. This is an illegitimate policy [in the case of abandonment of which] we will cancel our counter-claims,” Valentina Matvienko stressed.
On Tuesday, a bill containing measures intended to respond to US sanctions and other actions was passed in Russia’s State Duma. The second reading is scheduled for May 17. The bill, presented by a group of deputies and by the Duma president, gives the Russian government, on the prerogative of the president, the right to introduce counter-measures in response to hostile actions by the US and other countries against Russia. In addition, the bill establishes criminal liability for complying with Western sanctions on Russian territory.