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Kremlin calls new U.S. sanctions illegal, says financial system stable

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin on Thursday said a new batch of sanctions on Moscow announced by the United States was illegal under international law and that Russia’s financial system was stable.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a news conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in St. Petersburg, Russia May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Washington said on Wednesday it was imposing fresh sanctions on Russia by the end of August after determining that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain, something the Kremlin denies.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said the U.S. move was “absolutely unfriendly,” but said Moscow continued to hope that for an improvement in battered U.S.-Russia relations.

“Making a linking to these events (the British poisoning) is for us unacceptable and such restrictions like those passed by the American side earlier … are absolutely illegal and do not correspond to international law,” said Peskov.

News of the U.S. measures sent the rouble tumbling to two-year lows at one point and sparked a wider asset sell-off over fears that Moscow was locked in a spiral of never-ending sanctions.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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