US ANTI-RUSSIA SANCTIONS: ‘Blunt instrument,’ but effective

US Ambassador to Moscow, John Tefft, acknowledged that the US anti-Russia sanctions are a “blunt instrument,” but at the same time effective.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US Ambassador to Moscow, John Tefft, acknowledged on Monday that the US anti-Russia sanctions are a “blunt instrument,” but at the same time stated that they were effective.

“I think the answer is somewhere in between. Sanctions are blunt instrument. […] I think they have been effective,”

he told the Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station, answering the question about how he evaluated the effectiveness of the sanctions.

Still, Tefft noted that the United States needed to respond to the alleged “violation of the international law” in connection with events in Crimea and Ukraine, and the only alternative to sanctions was war, which no one wanted.

“The choice that was presented to the [former US President Barack] Obama administration was ‘Do you want war with Russia?’ Nobody wanted war with Russia,”

Tefft said.

In 2014, relations between Russia and the West deteriorated over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. The United States and the European Union imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia’s energy, banking, defense and other sectors, as well as on a number of Russian officials.

On August 2, US President Donald Trump enacted a law, overwhelmingly approved by the US Congress, tightening the sanctions against Russia, North Korea and Iran. The law also prevents the US president from removing the sanctions on Russia without congressional approval.

Russia refuted all the allegations and sharply criticized the US sanctions. Following the latest set of measures, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev characterized the US sanctions legislation as a declaration of a “full-fledged economic war.”

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