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Putin said in South Africa earlier in the day that he has about a visit to Russia, although it did not appear that the Russian government has gone through the official protocols involved with following up. "On August 8, 2018 our Deputy Chief of Mission was informed in the State Department of new "draconian" sanctions against Russian Federation for far-fetched accusations of using the "Novichok" nerve agent against a United Kingdom citizen", the embassy said in a statement.

"Whatever the sanctions against Russian Federation are, the retaliatory measures will be the same", she said.

Medvedev, speaking on a trip to Russia's far east, said: "I can say one thing: If some ban on banks' operations or on their use of one or another currency follows, it would be possible to clearly call it a declaration of economic war".

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday that the sanctions could be a "declaration of economic war" and vowed to respond.

"The Russian side will start examining response measures to the new unfriendly move of Washington", Zakharova said.

The Kremlin said the sanctions were illegal and unfriendly and that the U.S. move was at odds with the "constructive atmosphere" of Trump and Putin's encounter in Helsinki.

The new announcement could bolster Trump's claim that his administration is taking a tough stance on Moscow, even as he denounces special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe as a "witch hunt" that ought to be halted immediately.

Russia's government slammed as "unacceptable" on Thursday new US sanctions against Moscow.

The sanctions are expected to take effect later this month.

Skripal and his daughter were poisoned at their home in Salisbury, England, in March.

"Russia could try to gain the support of other countries, but unfortunately the United States has a lot of power to bully other countries into following its policies", he said to RT.

Moscow criticized new US sanctions on Russian Federation and vowed retaliation on Thursday in a fresh round of spats that could smother a glimmer of hope from a recent Putin-Trump meeting that bilateral ties may improve. The first round of sanctions will take effect on August 22, while a second round may be introduced in 90 days in case Russian Federation fails to meet certain conditions, the State Department said.

The Kremlin said the new sanctions were "illegal and do not correspond to global law".

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018.

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce, who had pushed months ago for Trump to take action over Russia's use of banned weapons, applauded the move as "key to increasing pressure on Russian Federation".

The United States on Wednesday announced it would impose fresh sanctions on Russia after Washington determined Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain.

The State Department announced the sanctions on Wednesday.

In Moscow, the ruble shed as much as 5% against the dollar on Thursday and stocks plunged as much as 9%, led by state banks and national carrier PJSC Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, which risk losing access to US markets if the sanctions escalate.