Russia denounces new sanctions by Western powers as 'blackmail'
Published on Jul 17, 2014 7:32 PM
MOSCOW (AFP) - The United States and European Union bolstered sanctions against Russia over its alleged support of separatists in Ukraine, drawing an angry rebuke on Thursday from Moscow which said the measures amounted to "blackmail".
US President Barack Obama, in sanctions imposed on Wednesday, took his first direct swipes at the Russian economy's finance, military and energy sectors, further escalating the worst stand-off between the Kremlin and the West since the Cold War.
Washington had warned last week that Moscow had to demonstrate a clean break from separatists or face the tougher sanctions. But Kiev laid new allegations against Russia on Thursday, saying a Russian fighter jet on Wednesday shot down a Ukrainian warplane over its territory.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted to sanctions in a furious statement: "We do not intend to tolerate blackmail and reserve the right to take retaliatory measures" against the US.
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