President Trump's words (notably after his meeting with Putin last month) too often leave the impression that he isn't serious about facing down Moscow's malevolence.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has criticized the United States decision on new sanctions and Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Moscow will consider retaliation.
Instead of starting to look for ways to improve relations as was discussed during the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki in July, "the USA administration spares no efforts to complicate the situation even more", she said.
The official told reporters that the administration made a decision to impose a "presumption of denial" for the sale to Russian Federation of "national security sensitive" USA technologies that require federal government approval. The first round of sanctions will take effect on August 22, while a second round may be introduced in 90 days in case Russian Federation fails to meet certain conditions, the State Department said.
U.S. -Russian relations have soured in recent months over the White House's new tariffs on foreign aluminum and an investigation into Moscow's alleged hacking and disinformation campaign during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Former Russian military intelligence official Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in the English city of Salisbury in March.
"Whatever the sanctions against Russian Federation are, the retaliatory measures will be the same", she said.
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On August 22, an initial restriction on exports of security-sensitive goods will come into force and, unless Russian Federation assures the U.S. that it has stopped using chemical weapons (which it denies in the first instance), more severe restrictions will be introduced 90 days later.
The US and European Union also have sanctions in place against dozens of Russian state officials and firms accused of involvement in the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and support for the separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the Skripals' poisoning and also the subsequent death of a British woman, Dawn Sturgess, after she was exposed to the agent.
Putin said in South Africa earlier in the day that he has about a visit to Russia, although it did not appear that the Russian government has gone through the official protocols involved with following up.
"Russia has repeatedly warned that talking to us from a position of strength, and in the language of ultimatums, is futile and pointless", she said.
Russian Federation is planning retaliatory measures against sanctions imposed by the United States over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal, which caused the rouble to fall to its lowest level since November 2016 this morning.
One tool it said it might use was limiting market volatility by adjusting how much foreign currency it buys.
Moscow's strategy of trying to improve battered U.S. -Russia ties by attempting to build bridges with President Donald Trump is backfiring after U.S. lawmakers launched a new sanctions drive last week because they fear Trump is too soft on Russian Federation. "And our American friends need to understand this", he said, speaking on a trip to the Russian Far East.