The Kremlin said Russia would keep reducing its investment in US government bonds and drastically cut its payments in dollars in response to new sanctions placed on Moscow by Washington.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on state TV at the weekend that the new sanctions to be imposed by the US by the end of August
over Russia's alleged involvement in the use of a nerve agent against a former spy and his daughter in Britain would restrict purchases of Russian government bonds, describing the impact as "unpleasant, but not fatal."
In response, "we have lowered to the minimum level and will further decrease our investment in US securities," Siluanov said only days after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned any US move to curb the activities of Russian banks would be seen "as a declaration of economic war."
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The finance minister added that Russia would settle more bills in rubles and other currencies such as the euro, rather than in dollars,
saying that this would negatively impact US investors.
He emphasized, though, that the Kremlin was not planning any limitations such as shutting down McDonald's or other US companies active in Russia, something frequently demanded by some lawmakers.
"Our citizens work in these companies, these firms pay taxes into our budget," Siluanov said.
While admitting that US sanctions would hurt the ruble and increase inflation, the minister said there were no plans to ban the use of the greenback in the country.
hg/aos (AFP, Reuters, dpa)