Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the anti-Russian sanctions recently passed by the US Senate will put a further strain on already difficult bilateral US-Russian relations.
This has come as for the first time since 2014, major EU countries have spoken vocally against American attempts to pass further sanctions on Russia. This is not due to some sudden shift in ideology but due to the fact that the sanctions would impact European companies working with Russia, including on the important Nord Strem 2 gas pipeline.
Many in Europe suspect, with some degree of truth, that this is designed to force European countries to buy American liquefied natural gas at a far higher cost vis-a-vis that which can be distributed to Europe via the Russian pipeline.
President Putin said of the new possible sanctions,
“This will certainly make Russian-American relations more difficult. I believe it to be harmful”.
Putin reiterated that Russia will rise to any potential economic challenge as it has done with success in the very recent past.
If the US House of Representatives passes the sanctions, Donald Trump could use a line item veto to prevent them from passing into law.
If he does, it may make matters even more difficult for him on the domestic front. Once again, the political chaos in the US has forced a President to choose between domestic worries and foreign policy aims.