The White House says President Obama will sign legislation by the end of the week to authorise new sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.
Point of view
Russia would not only survive, but would come out stronger, as we have been in much worse situations in our history
The new bill will also allow the providing of weapons to the government in Kyiv.
Moscow denies it is helping rebels in the east of Ukraine, and is brushing off the new sanctions.
Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, told a TV interview in English: “It’s geopolitics. Some people believe that sanctions is a sign of weakness, a sign of irritation which is not the best quality of a politician.
“But I can assure you that Russia would not only survive, but would come out stronger as we have been in much worse situations in our history.”
As Ukraine welcomes the new European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, for a two-day visit, experts warn the Russian economy is on the verge of a full-blown currency crisis.
They say concern about sanctions and falling oil prices have taken their toll on the Russian economy.