The blossoming feud between Trump top economic advisor Larry Kudlow and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley over whether Haley experienced a moment of “momentary confusion” when she revealed that the US was planning more Russia sanctions may finally be put to rest.
That is, if a Bloomberg report about a notification delivered to Russia’s US embassy is accurate.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Foreign Ministry official told BBG that a US official had notified the embassy that no sanctions would be forthcoming, contradicting Haley’s comments from Sunday but affirming a Washington Post report the following day.
On Tuesday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that “additional sanctions are under consideration” though he added that Haley had “got ahead of the curve” by discussing them publicly.
Of course, the US imposed sanctions on dozens of Russian tycoons and companies earlier this month in what were the most punitive measures since the US first slapped economic penalties on Russia four years ago over the Ukrainian conflict.
One of Russia’s most powerful businessmen, billionaire Oleg Deripaska, was hit hardest and shares of his aluminum giant Rusal have plunged about 70% in Hong Kong since the US effectively cut the company off from the dollar system.
Back in the US, conflicting signals from Washington have sent markets gyrating in recent days. When official Russian news agencies reported the US notification early Wednesday, the ruble went from being the worst performing emerging-market currency to the best in the first hour of Moscow trading.
Moscow is also planning to sell bonds this week after axing a planned auction last week, the first time Russia has cancelled a debt auction since 2015.
Still Russian lawmakers maintained early Wednesday that, should sanctions come down, Russia’s response would be “precise”.
Meanwhile, Talking Points Memo reported Wednesday that Kudlow has called Haley to apologize for his insensitive comments. Haley famously fired back “with all due respect, I don’t get confused,” in response to the call-out.