" President Vladimir Putin had reiterated Thursday that Russia would not bow to external political pressure and would stay firm to protect its national interests."
Moscow, Dec 20 - Russia has warned that possible arms supplies to Ukraine would disturb the peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.

The international community should not further disturb the situation in Ukraine, but foster a peaceful settlement, a constitutional reform and a dialogue between Kiev and the insurgents in eastern Ukraine, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov Friday, according to a Xinhua report.

US President Barack Obama Thursday signed into law a bill named the Ukraine Freedom Support Act aiming at tougher sanctions on Russia.

The legislation allows Obama to provide military assistance worth $350 million to Ukraine, with anti-tank and anti-armour weapons.

Frants Klintsevich, Vice Chairman of the Defence Committee of the State Duma, or the lower house of the Russian parliament, said that the assurance of no fresh sanctions by Obama did not change the aggressive nature of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephonic conversation Thursday that normal joint activities would be undermined for a long time because of the Act.

The US also imposed a ban on new investments in Crimea Friday, and barred trade in goods, technology or services with the Ukrainian region annexed by Russia.

There are worries that although a new round of US sanctions against Russia might not have a direct impact, they could increase Russia's sense of panic and ratchet up pressure on the country's embattled economy.

Russia's currency rouble has lost nearly 50 percent of its value against the US dollar and the euro since March, despite several currency interventions by the central bank.

President Vladimir Putin had reiterated Thursday that Russia would not bow to external political pressure and would stay firm to protect its national interests.

Putin Thursday, had also offered Russian mediation to settle the Ukraine crisis.


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