China, Russia warn U.S. of consequences over sanctions

September 22, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 05:18 am IST - Moscow

Moscow and Beijing lashed out on Friday at Washington’s new anti-Russian sanctions that also target China for the first time, warning the the United States could face consequences.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman accused Washington of playing unfairly and using new measures to squeeze Moscow out of the global arms market, after the United States slapped sanctions on China for buying Russian warplanes and missiles and threatened to target its other clients.

“This is unfair competition, dishonest competition, an attempt to use non-market methods that run counter to norms and principles of international trade to squeeze the main competitor of U.S. makers out of the markets,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

‘New blow to ties’

Mr. Peskov said that “Washington’s continued sanctions hysterics” dealt a new blow to the U.S.-Russia ties but could not immediately say if Moscow would retaliate, or how.

On Thursday, Washington placed financial sanctions on the Equipment Development Department of the Chinese Defence Ministry, and its top administrator, for the recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems. It was the first time a third country has been punished under the CAATSA sanctions legislation for dealing with Russia, signalling Donald Trump’s readiness to risk relations with other countries over Moscow.

Beijing — which is locked in a trade war with the United States — urged Washington to withdraw sanctions or “bear the consequences”.

“The U.S. actions have seriously violated the basic principles of international relations and seriously damaged the relations between the two countries and the two militaries,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang. “We strongly urge the U.S. to immediately correct their mistake and withdraw their so-called sanctions, otherwise the U.S. will have to bear the consequences.”

United in their resentment of America's global influence, China and Russia have sought in recent years to tighten their ties and this month conducted a joint military drill, Moscow's largest ever war games.

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