July 17, 2014 4:47 am

Russia calls US sanctions for Ukraine actions as ‘bullying’

Russia's President Vladimir Putin smiles while speaking with journalists in Itamaraty Palace in Brazilia, early on July 17, 2014. The United States and Europe strengthened sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine yesterday, with President Barack Obama taking his first direct swipes in the finance, military and energy sectors of the Russian economy.

ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images

MOSCOW – Russia’s foreign ministry has dismissed the latest round of U.S. sanctions for its actions in Ukraine as ‘bullying’ and says it is ready to push back.

President Barack Obama has announced broader sanctions against Russia, targeting among others Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft. The increased U.S. economic pressure is designed to end the insurgency in eastern Ukraine that is widely believed to be backed by the Kremlin. Moscow denies supporting the separatists.

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The Russian foreign ministry on Thursday described the U.S. sanctions as a “primitive attempt” to shift the blame for the mayhem in eastern Ukraine.

It says Moscow is ready to reciprocate for Washington’s “bullying” and criticized the Ukrainian government for “sabotaging attempts to bring peace.”

READ MORE: More Canadian troops heading to Europe to show support for Ukraine

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