18:28 GMT +311 December 2017
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    This photo taken on May 7, 2013 shows Russian and the US flags running up as the US Secretary of State arrives at Moscow Vnukovo Airport

    State Dept: Russia Entitled to Call US Sanctions 'Declaration of Economic War'

    © AFP 2017/ MLADEN ANTONOV
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    State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that Russia is entitled to call a bill that imposes tougher sanctions on Moscow a declaration of economic war.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russia is entitled to call a US bill that imposes tougher sanctions on Moscow a declaration of economic war, Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a briefing on Thursday.

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday characterized the new US anti-Russian sanctions bill signed into law by President Donald Trump as a declaration of "full-fledged economic war."

    "If that is what Russia is saying, Russia is certainly entitled to say that, and that is as far as I am going to go," Nauert said when asked about Medvedev’s statement.

    Medvedev also said now there was no hope for making Russia's relations with the new US administration better. Yet, Nauert contended "there is always hope for improvement."

    Moreover, she said many leaders in the past have made provocative statements, especially at heated times, but at this point it would be better "to settle things down."

    The United States and Russia continue to share multiple areas of cooperation, including the fight against terrorism, Nauert added.

    On Wednesday, Trump signed into law a bill that was overwhelmingly passed by Congress to tighten restrictive measures on Russia, North Korea and Iran. The law prevents the US president from removing sanctions on Russia without congressional approval. Trump characterized the legislation as being significantly flawed.

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    anti-Russian sanctions, United States, Russia
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