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Russia Threatens Counter-Measures After U.S. Extends Sanctions

The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed regret over the extension of sanctions by the United States and said Moscow reserves the right to retaliate with counter-measures, the ministry said Thursday in an online statement.

“It is regrettable that the United States continues to enthusiastically play with sanctions against Russia, which they have used for two years already, trying to deflect responsibility for the coup d'etat in Ukraine, and now for the sad consequences of their ruling Kiev clients,” the statement published on the official Foreign Ministry website said.

The ministry also said that the extension of U.S. sanctions does not help “the regulation of the Ukrainian crisis, stalled because of the unwillingness of Kiev to fulfill the Minsk agreements. But it has a devastating effect on Russian-American relations.”

According to Moscow, it's time for Washington to realize the futility of its sanctions policy and the risk of confrontation with Russia.

“For our part, we reserve the right to retaliate with such measures as we believe will meet Russia's interests,” Foreign Ministry said.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a decree extending the sanctions against Russia until March 6, 2017.

The United States imposed restrictions on a number of Russian companies and individuals in March 2014 following Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its actions in eastern Ukraine.

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