The speaker of the Russian upper house of parliament has warned of “serious consequences” of the US sanctions imposed on Russia, saying Moscow’s response will be "precise and painful."
"No one should be under any illusions," Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted Valentina Matvienko as saying on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, the US imposed fresh sanctions on a number of Russian individuals and companies over a range of activities, including Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
According to the US Treasury Department, the measures targeted seven businessmen close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, 12 of their companies as well as 17 senior government officials for what Washington called a range of “malign activity.”
Companies like Gazprom, Burenie and Renova group have also been added to the sanctions list. There has also been an asset freeze in the United States targeting "oligarchs" such as aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska and lawmaker Suleiman Kerimov, whose family controls Russias largest gold producer, Polyus. Moscow says the US sanctions are illegal and warned that it will retaliate.
"Russias response to the sanctions, our so-called counter-sanctions, will be precise, painful, and without question sensitive for exactly those countries that imposed them (the sanctions) on Russia," Matvienko said.
"Sanctions are a double-edged sword and those who impose them should understand that sanctions against countries, especially those like Russia, will carry with them risks of serious consequences for those who impose them," she added.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday that Russias lower house of parliament was considering legislation that would give the Kremlin the power to restrict imports from the United States.