Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on the 16th that Russia will expel 10 U.S. diplomats in response to the U.S. recently imposed new sanctions on Russia.
The U.S. government on the 15th on Russia’s cyberattacks, interference in the U.S. election and other “malicious activities” on the grounds of large-scale sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats.
Analysts pointed out that the two leaders recently on the phone, the United States also proposed to hold a summit to discuss bilateral relations, but now quickly “changed face”, the sanctions against Russia, coupled with the two sides on a number of issues clearly divided, the United States and Russia in recent years in the future not only hopelessly eased, or worse.
Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow on the 16th that Russia will wait in response to the new U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia, decided to expel 10 U.S. diplomats in Russia, and eight U.S. government officials on the “black list.”
According to Russian media reports, russian presidential aide Ushakov summoned the U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan the same day, to announce the Russian response to U.S. sanctions. Ushakov also suggested that Sullivan return to the United States to consult with U.S. government officials on the development of bilateral relations.
In response to a new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia, Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on the 15th that Russia condemns any sanctions and considers them illegal.
Peskov said Russia does not want Russia-U.S. relations to “go further and take two steps back.” U.S. sanctions are not conducive to the prospects for a meeting between the leaders of the two countries.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova said the policy leading to the deterioration of Russian-American relations will come at a price, Russia-U.S. relations are entirely responsible for the deterioration of the United States.
In response to U.S. President Joe Biden’s previous proposal to hold a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Peskov warned Thursday that the summit depends on the future behavior of the United States. The topic of the meeting has not yet been decided, but bilateral relations will be an important topic of concern to both sides.
Beauty is capricious
The White House said in a statement on the 15th that Biden has signed a new executive order on sanctions against Russia. According to the executive order, the U.S. Treasury Department prohibits U.S. financial institutions from participating in the primary market for ruble-denominated or non-ruble-denominated bonds issued by the Central Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance after June 14 this year, and prohibits lending of funds denominated in rubles or non-ruble currencies to these institutions.
The U.S. Treasury Department also sanctioned six Russian technology companies for supporting the Russian intelligence network program, 32 entities and individuals for meddling in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and eight entities and individuals for crimea. The U.S. will also expel 10 Russian diplomats in Washington, including Russian intelligence.
The White House said in a statement that Biden’s executive order “sends a signal that if Russia continues to engage in or escalate destabilizing international operations, the United States will use strategic and economic influence to make Russia pay the price.”
But just two days before the U.S. announced sanctions, Biden spoke with Putin to discuss developments in U.S.-Russian relations and some international hot-button issues.
According to the Russian President’s website published on the 13th communique, the call was made at the proposal of the United States. Biden said the goal is to build a stable and predictable U.S.-Russian relationship that is in the U.S. interest, and he also proposed a summit with Putin in a third country in the coming months to discuss bilateral relations, the White House said in a statement.
The relationship deteriorated again
U.S.-Russian relations have been strained in recent years, and since the Biden administration took office, the two sides have achieved limited cooperation in arms control, but differences over Ukraine, cybersecurity, human rights, and election meddling have intensified. Tensions between Russia and the United States intensified in March when Russia recalled its ambassador to the United States to discuss the prospects for Russian-American relations, following Biden’s critical remarks about Putin.
Biden proposed a meeting with Putin on the 13th, once considered a signal that the United States will release relations with Russia to ease. Some analysts believe that the United States imposed a new round of sanctions or to deter Russia, so that it accepted the U.S. meeting proposal, but from Russia’s consistent performance and the latest reaction, the United States is difficult to do so, and will make relations between the two countries worse.
Angela Stenter, an expert on Russia at Georgetown University, says that, as in the case of Crimea, sanctions can have an impact on Russia’s economy, but not necessarily deter it. She believes U.S.-Russian relations could deteriorate in the coming weeks or months.
Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia and a professor at Stanford University, said the Biden administration responded strongly to Russia’s hostility to the U.S. during the Trump era, but the question is whether the measures will deter Russia.
According to an analysis by Russia’s Opinion newspaper, strategic stability and arms control have always been life rings in Russian-American relations in the past.
Whenever relations between the two countries are deadlocked and Russia and the United States try to find common ground on any issue, the two sides talk about strategic arms control. But discussions require at least a minimum level of trust in bilateral relations, which does not exist today.