U.S. and EU add more Sanctions against Russia

    MOSCOW (TIP): As the confrontation between U.S. and European Union, on the one hand, and Russia escalates, Russia may ban some imports including clothing and used cars in retaliation to a U.S. and European Union decision to stiffen sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine. European companies and taxpayers “will have to pick up the costs” for the penalties, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told Interfax September 11. The Economy Ministry drafted a list of goods that may be banned, including automobile imports, particularly used cars, as well as textiles and clothing, state-run RIA Novosti reported, citing Kremlin economic aide Andrei Belousov.

    The U.S. will “deepen and broaden” measures against Russia’s financial, energy and defense industries, President Barack Obama said in a statement September 11, hours after the announcement by the EU. The latest round of economic restrictions from both the U.S. and the EU takes effect September 12. The sanctions, which go into effect Friday, September 12, take aim at Russia’s energy sector and further constrict the country’s vital financial and defense industries’ access to global markets and resources.

    They strengthen measures that the United States and the E.U. instituted in late July to target key engines of the Russian economy after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. Western leaders threatened to step up sanctions in recent weeks after Russia was accused of sending military vehicles, weapons and troops into Ukraine to bolster separatist forces fighting the Ukrainian army in the eastern regions. Russian leaders have denied the accusation.

    The moves raise the level of confrontation and follow reprisals last month, when the Russian leader banned a range of food imports after an earlier round of U.S. and European penalties. Putin denies any involvement in the fighting that broke out after he annexed Crimea in March in what has become the worst crisis between Russia and its former Cold War adversaries since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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