American lawmakers have proposed new measures against senior Russian politicians and the economy
Calls from American politicians to impose new sanctions on Russia, including against the country's leadership, are futile, and Moscow is not intimidated, the Russian ambassador to the US said on Thursday.
Anatoly Antonov's statement, published on Facebook, comes a day after a group of US senators from President Joe Biden's Democratic Party introduced a bill containing possible restrictions to impose on Russia in the event of an escalation of tensions around Ukraine. Among other things, the bill proposes to impose sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. It also targets Russian banks and other industries.
"We believe that the calls on Capitol Hill for the introduction of 'crippling' anti-Russian restrictions, as well as personal sanctions against the top leadership of the Russian Federation, are provocative and hopeless. We will not be intimidated by restrictions," Antonov said, suggesting the threats are an attempt to influence Russia during ongoing negotiations for a potential treaty that includes a wide range of European security measures.
"The assertions about the alleged plan of an attack on a neighboring state being hatched by our country are a figment of the sick imagination of local Russophobic circles," he said. "This is the result of their mental disorder. The answer is unambiguous: We have no aggressive intentions towards Ukraine."
The new draft of potential punishments follows accusations by Western nations that Moscow has 100,000 troops near the frontier with Ukraine and could possibly be preparing for an invasion. The Kremlin has denied all allegations that it is seeking conflict.
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also slammed the proposed measures, noting that personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin would be the equivalent of Washington deciding to completely sever all relations with Moscow.