MOSCOW – Russia outlined a broad range of potential retaliatory moves against new US sanctions, including curbs on imports of American farm products and cooperation in nuclear energy and space launches, as well as a possible ban on titanium sales to Boeing Co.
The proposals, which also include a potential bar on US consulting and accounting firms from working with state-owned companies and limits on imports of alcohol, will be discussed next week in the lower house of parliament, the State Duma. They also envision restrictions on visas for US specialists working in Russia. Presidential orders would be required to impose specific measures.
New US sanctions targeting Russian businessmen, companies and officials imposed a week ago sent Russian markets into a tailspin and brought about promises of retaliation from the Kremlin. Given that Russia has little economic leverage over the US, officials said it could use an asymmetrical response as it has in the past to counter anti-Russian measures, as when it banned Americans from adopting its children or cut off student-exchange programs.
“During discussions of the unfriendly actions against our country, we talked about the need to respond to the boorish behavior by the US and its creating obstacles to Russian business,” Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said Friday, Tass news agency reported. The measures would affect the US and any other countries that join its sanctions on Russia.
Given the Kremlin’s tight control over parliament, the bill is likely to be passed within days. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin would need some time to study the proposal but noted that no steps would be taken that would harm Russian interests. He declined to comment on specific proposals, including the titanium-shipment ban.
The U.S. is Russia’s fourth-largest trading partner. Imports from the US totalled $12.7-billion last year, according to International Monetary Fund data, with cars, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment among the top items. Exports to the US were $17 billion.
The document, which includes potential curbs on buying Russia’s goods and equipment with rare-earth metals, “will create significant problems because those are strategic materials,” Interfax news service reported, citing a lawmaker Evgeny Serebrennikov.
Russia is home to the world’s largest producer of titanium, which is a major supplier to Boeing. If passed, the law would block that trade, Sergei Ryabukhin, chairman of the budget committee in the upper house of parliament, said, according to RIA Novosti.