Russia is working on defensive measures to prepare for possible new sanctions from the United States and other countries, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.
US President Donald Trump signed into law a new package of sanctions in August drafted by US lawmakers. One of the provisions asked the US Treasury Secretary to submit a report on the impact of expanding sanctions to cover Russian sovereign debt, with an outcome expected as early as February.
US and EU sanctions imposed over Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, remain in place. But US allegations that Moscow interfered in last year's US presidential election, something Russia denies, have spurred calls for more sanctions.
On Wednesday, the Kremlin was asked to comment on media reports that Russian state development bank VEB planned to transfer its Globex bank to the state and about speculation that the bank would then be used to service the military industrial complex to try to protect Russia from new sanctions.
"We are working on and taking measures aimed at defending our interests against a backdrop of possible new restrictive actions and sanctions by various countries, which we continue to deem unlawful," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.