Russian President Vladimir Putin says the US Treasury’s recently released sanction list borders on “stupidity” as it reveals Washington’s policy inconsistency.
“What do they want? They must decide for themselves,” said Putin on Tuesday shortly after the US Treasury Department released a blacklist of 114 Russian politicians and 96 “oligarchs” close to the Kremlin, over allegedly interfering in the 2016 US election.
Putin noted that Washington equates Moscow with Tehran and Pyongyang, while at the same time calls on Russia to mediate issues with North Korea and Iran.
The Russian president added that the US move was “certainly unfriendly” and would have a negative effect on already deteriorating Russian-US ties.
“The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on,” he added.
Other Russian officials have also slammed the US for publishing the blacklist of senior Russian government officials.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that Washington seeks to impose new sanctions on Russia “in the near future.”
Late on Monday, the Treasury Department named major Russian businessmen, including the heads of the country’s two biggest banks, metals magnates and the boss of the state gas monopoly on a list of oligarchs close to the Kremlin.
The US also expanded its sanctions on Friday against Russia. The new sanctions added 21 people, including Russian Deputy Energy Minister Andrey Cherezov, and nine companies to the sanctions list because of what Washington called Moscow’s continued interference in Ukraine.