Russian diplomat says country will respond to expected US sanctions by growing economy

Russia vowed to “respond with action” to the expected U.S. sanctions package against the country by growing its economy, Russian state media reported Thursday.

“You know, we will respond with action pertaining to development of our own economy, evolution and strengthening of ties with partners which, unlike the Western minority continuing thinking in colonial and neocolonial terms, have deal-making abilities and build up their economic ties in interests of their people, by raising the standard of living for citizens and providing for prosperity,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters after a G20 meeting of foreign ministers on Thursday, Russian state media TASS reported.

The sanctions package is expected to come Friday, a week after the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The package is aimed at holding Russia “accountable for what happened to Mr. Navalny,” White House national security communications adviser John Kirby told reporters Tuesday.

Kirby added the sanctions are also to hold Russian Vladimir Putin accountable for Moscow’s war with Ukraine and are “specifically supplemented with additional sanction regarding Mr. Navalny’s death.”

Biden, along with a series of other Western leaders, quickly placed the blame on Putin for the death of Navalny, who died in a remote Arctic penal colony last Friday. Biden said the opposition leader’s death “was a consequence of something that Putin and his thugs did,” and urged House Republicans to pass more aid for Ukraine in the wake of his death.

Tensions between the two leaders increased this week when Biden called Putin a “crazy SOB.”

“This is the last existential threat, it is climate. We have a crazy SOB like that guy Putin, and others, and we always have to worry about nuclear conflict, but the existential threat to humanity is climate,” he said during a Wednesday fundraiser in San Fransisco.

The Kremlin on Thursday slammed Biden’s remarks, with spokesman Dmitry Leskov calling Biden’s comments “probably some kind of attempt to look like a Hollywood cowboy. But honestly, I don’t think it’s possible,” Reuters reported.

“The use of such language against the head of another state by the president of the United States is unlikely to infringe on our president, President Putin,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters on Thursday. “But it debases those who use such vocabulary.”

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