Russia vows ‘asymmetrical’ response if U.S. imposes new sanctions over Syria
15:00, Monday, 24 October, 2016
Russia has responded to reports of new U.S. sanctions over its military actions in Syria by vowing a “painful” counter-punch. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson threatened Russia on Oct. 16 with more sanctions over its continued support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told lawmakers on Thursday that any attempt to inflict financial hardship for its role in Syria’s civil war will be met with an “asymmetrical” and “painful” response. Mr. Ryabkov’s comments to the State Duma, or lower house of parliament, also included the approval of a bill suspending a plutonium disposal agreement with Washington, Radio Free Europe reported. Tensions between the U.S. and Russia largely stem from the latter’s contributions to the Assad regime’s assault on rebel-held areas of Aleppo, and U.S. sanctions imposed in 2014 over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in Ukraine. In addition to an ongoing air campaign on behalf of Assad’s forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin is sending warships to the region.