By: ANTIMEDIA — Following new sanctions against Russia that President Donald Trump signed into law last week, Moscow responded Monday by announcing Russia will speed up work on reducing the country's dependence on Western payment systems and the U.S. dollar in general, according to Russia's state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
"We will, of course, intensify work related to import substitution, reduction of dependence on U.S. payment systems, on the dollar as a settling currency and so on. It is becoming a vital need," said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Monday, as cited by RIA.
"(Otherwise) we will always sit on their hook, exactly what they need," he added.
Russia didn't wait for the U.S. president's signature, however, and boldly responded within hours the bill's congressional passage. As CNN reported:
"President Vladimir Putin has hit back at new American sanctions by ordering the US to cut staff at its diplomatic mission by 755, in Moscow's most aggressive move against Washington since the final years of the Cold War."
Trump signed the sanctions bill into law last Wednesday, August 2.