Russia vows 'strong response' to new US sanctions

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MOSCOW, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Russia will give "a strong response" to new U.S. sanctions, "not necessarily symmetrical" but "sensitive" to Washington, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Following Moscow's recognition of the two "republics" in east Ukraine's Donbass, the United States announced a package of restrictions targeting Russia's financial sector.

The statement said that the sanctions are in line with Washington's ongoing attempts to "change Russia's course."

Russia has proven that it is able to minimize the damage from the Western sanctions, and the pressure has failed to undermine Russia's determination to firmly defend its interests, the ministry stressed.

"In the arsenal of American foreign policy ... there are no other means left than blackmail, intimidation and threats. With regard to world powers, primarily Russia and other key international players, this does not work," it read.

Russia remains open to diplomacy based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and consideration of each other's interests, said the ministry.