Last year, US Ambassador John Sullivan spoke to Russian President Putin - he has now been summoned to the Moscow Foreign Ministry for "a difficult conversation"
Photo: Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images
For its part, Moscow is increasing pressure after expelling ten Russian diplomats from the United States.
In response to the sanctions imposed by the US government, which hit six Russian technology companies with ties to Moscow's secret services, among others, US Ambassador John S. Sullivan was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Russia announced that it would react "mirror-like" to the sanctions and, in return, also expel ten US diplomats.
Washington’s actions showed an unwillingness to normalize relations, a State Department spokeswoman said.
The US imposed the punitive measures on Thursday in retaliation for a hacking attack attributed to Moscow and Russia's alleged interference in the US elections.
Part of the sanctions is also that US financial companies will be banned from trading in Russian national debt, which will be issued from mid-June.
This will increase the cost of Moscow's debt servicing, lead to capital flight and weaken the ruble and the Russian economy, said a senior representative of the US government, according to the dpa news agency.
Germany and the other NATO partners meanwhile backed the US sanctions.
"We stand on the side of the United States in solidarity," it said in a statement.
Russia is called on to stop its destabilizing behavior immediately.
This posed a threat to Euro-Atlantic security. The EU also expressed its solidarity with the USA.
The White House stated that the US wanted "stable and predictable relations" with Russia and a departure from a "negative course".
"But we have also made it clear - publicly and privately - that we will defend our national interests and impose costs on the Russian government for activities that are supposed to harm us."
An early conversation between Putin and Biden is unlikely
Foreign policy official Leonid Sluzki said that against this background it was difficult to talk about the prospects of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US colleague Joe Biden.
Sanctions would not set a "constructive tone" for such talks, said the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian parliament.
In a phone call on Tuesday, Biden offered Putin a face-to-face meeting in a third country in Europe.
In the Kremlin it was now said that sanctions for such summit plans are not helpful.
In the end, however, the heads of state would have to decide for themselves whether they would meet.
According to the dpa, it was excluded that the summit would take place in the next few weeks.
fek / dpa / AFP