Russia blasts US on frozen assets and missiles as Ukraine bombardment persists

Moscow warns of retaliation as war in Ukraine causes relations with the West to deteriorate.

Russia blasts US : Russia has issued a strong warning, indicating a firm response to any attempts by Western nations to seize its assets or position missiles.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated on Friday that Moscow might sever diplomatic ties with the United States if it confiscates Russian assets currently frozen under sanctions. Additionally, officials emphasized that the Kremlin would react to the deployment of missiles in Europe or Asia. Meanwhile, Ukraine reported another wave of attack drones unleashed by Russia overnight.

Ryabkov issued a warning that Moscow might sever diplomatic ties with Washington if it transfers frozen Russian assets to Kyiv, in need of funds, as reported by the Russian state news agency Interfax.

Western nations are deliberating the confiscation of over $1 billion in Russian assets frozen due to sanctions related to the Ukraine conflict.

The US should not harbor the misconception that Russia is eager to maintain diplomatic relations, cautioned an official.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov later emphasized at a media briefing that countries seizing Russian assets would face consequences, and Russia would explore options to retaliate by examining potential Western assets for seizure.

Certain figures in US political circles propose redirecting $300 billion from Russian Central Bank reserves, frozen in February 2022, to Kyiv to pressure Moscow on Ukraine.

Peskov argued that any such seizure would severely impact the global financial system. Russia, he stated, would vigorously defend its rights through legal channels and other means.

On Thursday, Russia pledged reciprocal action if the European Union proceeds with plans to ring-fence profits from frozen assets, redirecting them to Ukraine.

This week, German prosecutors revealed their intention to confiscate over 720 million euros ($790 million) from a Russian financial institution’s Frankfurt bank account.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused German leaders of engaging in theft, asserting that they have transitioned from political dishonesty to outright stealing. He claimed that they used to be politically dishonest, breaking agreements and cheating others, but now they are directly involved in theft.

This week, President Vladimir Putin issued an order to revoke the multibillion-dollar stakes of two European companies, Wintershall Dea and OMV, in gas projects in the Russian Arctic.

‘War machine’ Russia blasts US

The West is intensifying sanctions against Russia amid its ongoing aggression towards Ukraine.

According to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, US President Joe Biden announced the signing of an executive order on Friday, giving Washington the authority to impose sanctions on financial institutions aiding Russia in evading sanctions.

This measure empowers the US to prohibit products originating in Russia but processed in third countries, such as seafood and diamonds, according to Yellen’s statement.

Yellen emphasized, “Today, we’re deploying new and potent tools against Russia’s war efforts. We won’t hesitate to use these tools to take decisive and precise action against financial institutions facilitating Russia’s war machine.”

Beyond the economic realm, Russia voiced concerns about the potential US deployment of short- and medium-range missiles in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov warned of a swift and reciprocal response from Russia.

Moscow closely monitors US missile development and potential deployments, pledging prompt political decisions to counteract any such moves, Ryabkov stated.

Additionally, he criticized the US for complications in organizing a prisoner swap, accusing Washington of leaking details of sensitive negotiations. Earlier this month, the US reported Russia’s rejection of proposals for releasing former US marine Paul Whelan and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

Attack drones

Russian forces launched extensive attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and civilian sites overnight into Friday.

Kyiv’s air force reported that it successfully intercepted 24 out of 28 Shahed attack drones originating from Russia. This marks the sixth such assault on the Ukrainian capital in December, part of a broader drone swarm targeting central, southern, and western Ukraine.

Late on Thursday, residents in Kyiv could hear explosions along with air raid sirens. City Hall initially confirmed the activation of air defenses and urged people to seek shelter.

While Russian missiles and drones have increasingly targeted Kyiv, air defense systems have consistently thwarted these attempts. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, conveyed an incident on Telegram where a Shahed hit a residential building in Kyiv’s Solomianskyi district. Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported flames on the upper floors and one person was hospitalized, with another receiving on-site treatment.

Photos shared by Kyiv’s military administration on social media depicted apartment buildings with blown-out windows, attributing the damage to debris from a downed drone rather than a direct strike. Klitschko also mentioned debris from another downed drone falling on a house in the Darnytskyi district in eastern Kyiv.

In the Holosiivskyi district in the city’s south, a downed drone’s shrapnel landed on a high-rise building, causing no casualties, as per the military administration on Telegram.

Alexander Harris

Alexander Harris - The Digital Bloodhound Alexander isn't your typical investigative journalist. He thrives in the digital world, scouring the web for hidden connections and leaked documents. An expert data analyst and coder, he builds intricate digital trails to expose fraud, cybercrime, and government overreach. Alexander Harris began his career as a journalist. He is one of the founders of the " Russian Oligarchs Tracker Unit ".

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