Russia’s lower house of parliament approved a bill that would give the Kremlin authority to ban trade in certain items with countries deemed to be ‘unfriendly’ to Moscow.
Russian lawmakers promised a “painful” response after the United States imposed sweeping sanctions in April against some of Russia’s biggest firms and businessmen for “malign activities.”
A draft bill in retaliation threatened to restrict imports of U.S. goods, including medicines and agricultural goods. It has since been diluted, removing language that targeted specific goods and sectors out of fears about the potential impact on Russian consumers and industries.
Under the legislation President Vladimir Putin will decide what products would be affected by the restrictions, subject to parliamentary approval.