Russia Says U.S. Sanctions Could Thwart Progress on Iran Nukes, Syria War

U.S. actions harm 'bilateral cooperation on solving the situation around the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian crisis,' Foreign Ministry says.

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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures during a news conference, after a meeting with his counterpart from Mozambique Oldemiro Baloi, in Moscow April 21, 2014.Credit: Reuters
News Agencies

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that a widening of U.S. sanctions against Moscow this week may hamper bilateral cooperation on issues such as Iran's nuclear program and the Syrian crisis.

"The actions by the United States are putting in doubt the prospects of bilateral cooperation on solving the situation around the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian crisis and other acute international problems," the ministry said.

"As Washington could have seen previously, we don't leave such unfriendly acts without an answer," the statement added.

Russia earlier this month dismissed new U.S. sanctions as useless and said it was poised to wait as long as it takes for the U.S. to recognize its historic right to the Crimean peninsula.

Following several rounds of sanctions earlier this year, President Barack Obama approved new restrictions on Crimea which Russia annexed in March after a hastily called referendum.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed regret that "the United States and Canada still cannot get over the results of a free vote in Crimea in March," the referendum that was condemned by the international community as illegal and held under the guns of Russian troops.

Canada announced travel bans for dozens of individuals as well as restrictions on the export of technology used in Russia's oil industry.

In a pithy statement, Moscow insisted that the new sanctions won't push Russia to give up Crimea since it is a "historic and integral part of Russia" and said it was working on unspecified measures to retaliate.