BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg has reviewed Russian newspapers for the suggestion of how Vladimir Putin might respond to western sanctions. Quoting a pro-Kremlin outlet, Mr Rosenberg told BBC that Russia could consider “killer sanctions” designed to hurt the American and British economies. The measures could include a ban on all major western companies from doing business in Russia including MacDonalds and Coca-Cola.
The article in Komsomolskaya entitled ‘5 Killer sanctions that Russia could impose the West’ reads: “Ban exports of palladium…and titanium.
“Ban major western companies from Russia…MacDonald’s, Coca-Cola.
“Ban foreign airlines from Russian airspace.
“Ban sales of rocket engines to the US.”
Mr Rosenberg comments: “But after all this sabre-rattling an economist tells the paper: ‘Let’s face facts: our sanctions can’t seriously hurt the economies of the EU and the US.
“‘Our government won’t deprive our economy of export revenue or kick western employers or tax-payers out of the country.
“‘We’d be shooting ourselves in the foot.'”
“An admission that when it comes to this war of sanctions, Russia has limited options,” remarked the Russia correspondent.
It comes as the Kremlin’s foreign ministry spokeswoman announced Russia was designating the United States as an “unfriendly state” as the sanction row between the rival escalated.
Maria Zakharova told a press conference on Monday “As you know, yesterday (24th April) the decree of President [Vladimir Putin] was published, which contains a whole number of measures on fulfilling the already existing federal laws, under which those states, which are declared unfriendly, cannot hire Russian citizens as staff for their diplomatic and consular missions.
“We have always highlighted that our foreign policy is absolutely peaceful… but we have also always stressed that all steps, which we consider as unfriendly and hostile will never remain unanswered.
“As we understand, the whole story began with another wave of unfriendly US steps… as you understand and I can confirm this, naturally, the US is on this list.”
Tensions between Russia and the West have escalated rapidly in recent weeks following the build-up of troops close to the country’s media with Ukraine.
Ukraine, a strong ally of the US and a NATO member, believes the Russian Military is preparing for an incursion across the border in aid of pro-Russian seperatists.
Russian forces in the east of Ukraine are engaged in a bloody conflict with Kyiv over the control of the breakaway Donbass and Luhansk regions.
Putin’s government has already been hit with sanctions by the US and UK following the poisoning of opposition Alexei Navalny in 2020.