The Kremlin says the imposition of US sanctions on President Vladimir Putin “crosses a line”. Democratic members of the US Senate have proposed heavy punishment for key government officials like Putin if Russia invades Ukraine.
“Issuing sanctions against a head of state is tantamount to severing relations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said. He has also said that the proposal presented on Wednesday resembles an attempt to pressure Moscow.
The United States is concerned about Russian troops near the border with Ukraine. There are fears of a raid, something Russia has no plans for. Instead, the Russians are demanding security guarantees essential for de-escalating the situation. These include the withdrawal of NATO troops from Eastern Europe and the promise that Ukraine will never be part of the military alliance.
Last week, Russia held talks with the US and then NATO due to increased tensions. But, according to Peskov, they were not a success. The talks did not lead to a breakthrough, but the US and NATO said they were prepared to talk about arms control, among other things. Moreover, the threat of US sanctions does not contribute “to a constructive atmosphere in the negotiations,” Peskov said.