WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US government has decided not to send any representatives to the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Russia, and has cautioned US businesses against working with the Russian authorities, a US Department of State official told Sputnik on Thursday.
"The US government will not attend [the forum] at any level," the official said.
The State Department pointed out it has warned US companies about "clear risks — both economic and reputational — associated with top-level engagement with a government that is flouting the most fundamental principles of international rule of law by intervening militarily in a neighboring country."
The State Department official underscored that every US company will have to decide for itself whether to participate in the event.
The official also noted that the US authorities will not consider "business as usual" with Russia until Moscow fully implements the Minsk agreement to settle the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning the Western sanctions are counterproductive and noting that Crimea’s rejoining Russia came after a popular referendum in which the vast majority of citizens democratically decided in favor of reunification.