Russia dismisses US sanctions as 'bullying'

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, right, talks to an officer during inspection of a Ukrainian Army position outside the eastern town of Slovyansk, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Yatsenyuk hopes to restore the infrastructure in Donetsk and Lugansk regions from state budget, thanks to private investors and international aid, he said during his visit to the Slovyansk on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign ministry has dismissed the latest round of U.S. sanctions for its actions in Ukraine as 'bullying' and says it is ready to push back.

President Barack Obama has announced broader sanctions against Russia, targeting among others Russia's largest oil company, Rosneft. The increased U.S. economic pressure is designed to end the insurgency in eastern Ukraine that is widely believed to be backed by the Kremlin. Moscow denies supporting the separatists.

The Russian foreign ministry on Thursday described the U.S. sanctions as a "primitive attempt" to shift the blame for the mayhem in eastern Ukraine.

It says Moscow is ready to reciprocate for Washington's "bullying" and criticized the Ukrainian government for "sabotaging attempts to bring peace."