Russia hit back on January 26 at US threats of direct sanctions against President Vladimir Putin, saying moves against the Russian leader would be ineffective and hurt efforts to lower tensions over Ukraine.
Officials from France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine were set for talks in Paris on January 26 in the latest bid to ease a crisis sparked by fears that Moscow is preparing an invasion of its pro-Western neighbour.
The West has warned Russia of severe consequences if it does invade, and on January 25, Washington said there could be sanctions personally targeting Putin.
Reacting to the news, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the threats as worthless because senior Russian officials are barred from holding assets abroad.
But such a move, he said, would do serious damage to diplomatic efforts to ease ratcheting tensions over Ukraine.
“Politically, it’s not painful, it’s destructive,” Peskov told reporters.
The Kremlin has previously said any US sanctions personally targeting Putin would be akin to crossing a red line, warning the move could result in a rupture of bilateral ties.