MOSCOW — Responding to a new round of economic sanctions by the United States, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia lashed out late Wednesday against what he called America’s “aggressive foreign policy,” which he said had caused havoc in the Middle East, and accused the United States of pushing the Ukrainian government to continue fighting rather than encouraging peace.
Mr. Putin, speaking to reporters in Brasília, where he is winding up a trip through central and South America, warned that the American sanctions would backfire.
“I have already said they tend to have a boomerang effect, and without any doubt, in this case they are driving Russian-American relations to an impasse, causing very serious damage,” Mr. Putin said, according to a Kremlin transcript. “And I am convinced that this is harmful to the national long-term strategic interests of the American state, the American people.”
Mr. Putin said that rather than imposing sanctions like those announced in Washington on Wednesday against Russian banks and energy companies in retaliation for Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, the Obama administration should be working to end the bloodshed in Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting the government since early April.
Although there is evidence that Russia has been supporting the insurgents with weapons, tanks and other equipment, and some of the leaders of the insurgency have identified themselves as Russian citizens, Mr. Putin said that the United States should do more to assist Russian efforts to achieve a peace agreement.
“This must be done together — it must be jointly, of course, to encourage all sides in the conflict in Ukraine to an immediate end to hostilities and negotiate,” Mr. Putin said. “Unfortunately, we don’t see this on the side of our partners, especially the American partners, who it seems to me on the contrary are pushing the Ukrainian authorities to the continuation of this fratricidal war and the continuation of this punitive operation. This policy has no prospects.”
Mr. Putin, who has never hidden his disdain for American foreign policy in the Middle East, once again held up the region as evidence of failed interventionism on the part of Washington.
“In general I would say that those who are planning foreign policy actions in the United States — unfortunately we are not seeing it only in recent times, but say, the last 10-15 years — they conduct quite aggressive foreign policy and, in my opinion, very unprofessional,” Mr. Putin said.
“Look: In Afghanistan, problems. Iraq is falling apart, Libya is falling apart. If General Sisi had not taken Egypt in hand, Egypt no doubt would now be wasted and feverish. In Africa, there are problems in many countries. They touched Ukraine, and there are problems.”
Mr. Putin said that he remained open to negotiations with the United States. “It is a pity that our partners are going on this way, but we have not closed the door to negotiations, to resolve this situation,” he said.
While Mr. Putin seemed unbowed, even bellicose, in his response, the Russian financial markets had a different reaction. The benchmark Russian stock index, MICEX, fell 2.5 percent at opening Thursday, while shares in two of the companies targeted by sanctions — the oil giant Rosneft and the energy company Novatek — declined even further.
Analysts said the American sanctions would carry a sharp bite. “This represents a seismic hit to Russia, and to Russian markets,” wrote Timothy Ash, a market analyst with Standard Bank in London, who follows Russia and Ukraine closely. “With such prominent companies sanctioned, questions will now be asked which other Russian companies will next be on the list.”
Mr. Ash said he believed that the Obama administration was hoping to prevent Russia from intervening further in Ukraine and to give President Petro O. Poroshenko’s military operation more time to quash the insurrection. Mr. Ash also played down the importance of the European Union’s decision to not to impose additional sanctions of its own immediately.
“It does not really matter what the E.U. itself does, but the fact that these Russian companies are being sanctioned by the U.S. will force European companies with business interests in the U.S. to comply,” he wrote. “Every Western business is ultimately forced to comply.”