©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A mock-up of a bomb jack is seen in front of a “stop” sign, the colors of the U.S. and Russian flag in this illustration taken March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) – Russia warned the West on Wednesday that it was working on a broad response to sanctions that would be swift and hurt the West’s most vulnerable areas.
The Russian economy is facing the most serious crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, after the West imposed crippling sanctions on almost the entire Russian financial and business system following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia’s reaction will be swift, thoughtful and effective for those it targets,” Dmitry Birichevsky, director of the Foreign Ministry’s economic cooperation department, was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.
US President Joe Biden on Tuesday imposed an immediate ban on Russian imports of fuel and other energy products in retaliation for the invasion.
Russia warned earlier this week that oil prices could soar above $300 a barrel if the United States and the European Union ban imports of crude from Russia.
According to Russia, Europe consumes about 500 million tons of oil a year. Russia supplies about 30% of that amount, or 150 million tons, as well as 80 million tons of petrochemicals.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the “special military operation” is essential to ensure Russian security after the United States expanded the NATO military alliance to Russia’s borders and supported pro-Western leaders in Kiev.
Ukraine says it is fighting for its existence and the United States and its European and Asian allies have condemned the Russian invasion.
China, the world’s second largest economy, has called for restraint, but President Xi Jinping has warned that sanctions will slow the world economy.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Edmund Blair, translated by José Muñoz in the Gdańsk newsroom)
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