[Ed. – That ought to wake up the Fates.]
Fireworks have been let off over Moscow on President Vladimir Putin’s orders as Russia celebrated the formal annexation of Crimea, in a front to the West.
Mr Putin laughed off the US sanctions that targeted his inner circle, promising the Russian government would “have the back” of those on the list, and even opening a personal account at a sanctioned bank as an act of solidarity.
“Far as I’m aware, it’s an average bank,” Mr Putin said on Friday of Bank Rossiya, the only institution on the list of sanctions targets released by the US Treasury Department on Thursday. “I don’t have a personal account there, but I’ll open on on Monday.”
And in what appeared to be a move to de-escalate tensions, he even said he had no intention of imposing answering reactions. “We should refrain from retaliatory steps,” he said.
Mr Putin’s remarkable insouciance in the morning was not matched by his spokesman in the afternoon, who said Russia would impose “a mirror image” of such sanctions.
[O]ne internet-theme has seen the management of local businesses – from Moscow shops to Irish pubs – posting notices on their doors banning Barack Obama.
One Moscow financier who spoke on condition of anonymity said the far reaching nature of the US sanctions had sent a shock through the business community, but that the mood amongst investors had quickly recovered.