December 20, 2017 / 9:28 AM / 3 months ago

Russia working on defensive measures to counter possible new U.S. sanctions - Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is working on defensive measures to prepare for possible new sanctions from the United States and other countries, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

National flags of Russia and the U.S. fly at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a new package of sanctions in August drafted by U.S. lawmakers. One of the provisions asked the U.S. Treasury Secretary to submit a report on the impact of expanding sanctions to cover Russian sovereign debt, with an outcome expected as early as February.

U.S. and EU sanctions imposed over Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, remain in place. But U.S. allegations that Moscow interfered in last year’s U.S. presidential election, something Russia denies, have spurred calls for more sanctions.

On Wednesday, the Kremlin was asked to comment on media reports that Russian state development bank VEB planned to transfer its Globex bank to the state and about speculation that the bank would then be used to service the military industrial complex to try to protect Russia from new sanctions.

“We are working on and taking measures aimed at defending our interests against a backdrop of possible new restrictive actions and sanctions by various countries, which we continue to deem unlawful,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

He did not mention Globex bank.

“It would probably not be right now to make public or disclose all these measures aimed at hedging our risks,” Peskov said.

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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