Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends the Roundtable Summit Phase One Sessions of Belt and Road Forum at the International Conference Center in Yanqi Lake on May 15, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Pool/Getty Image)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin condemned the latest sanctions imposed by the United States Senate, insisting the latest restrictions make Russia stronger and blamed them on domestic political problems in America. The Senate voted Wednesday 97 to 2 in favor of imposing stricter sanctions over accusations by the intelligence community of meddling in the 2016 election.

"We have always lived under sanctions, whenever Russia grew stronger there would always be sanctions, throughout history," Putin said Thursday at a nationally televised call-in show, according to a report by NBC News. "There is a U.S. bill to toughen sanctions — why? Nothing has changed why are they talking about sanctions — it's evidence of domestic political problems in the U.S."

These statements came as Russian-U.S. relations have become increasingly tenser as the Senate, Congress, and special counsel Robert Mueller probes alleged links between the Trump Administration and the Russian government during the 2016 election.

"America is not our enemy," Putin also said Thursday while noting the long history of relations between the countries during wartime. "I know the mood of our people, we don't believe America is our enemy ... There is hysteria in the media and it affects the mood, but many people in Russia admire the achievements if the American people, and I hope relations will normalize."

He continued: "We have been through two wars together. The Russian Empire was key in securing U.S. independence."

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The new sanctions were added on the Senate floor to a bill imposing sanctions on Iran. The deal is a rare show of bipartisan support between Republican and Democratic heads of the Senate Foreign Relations and Banking committees.

Putin said the sanctions by the West have made Russia stronger by forcing the country to "switch on [their] brains" to reduce its dependence on energy exports, the Associated Press reported Thursday. In December, the administration of former President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for their role in hacking the Democratic National Committee during the election cycle. In 2014, both the E.U. and the U.S. imposed sanctions for Russia's annexing of Crimea in Ukraine.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Trump administration was considering lifting those sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in exchange for permission to continue the construction of a U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.

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The Russian president also weighed in on the scandal involving former FBI Director James Comey, saying that Russia would offer political asylum to Comey in the event that he was prosecuted in the United States. He compared the leaks by the former FBI Director to those by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

"What's the difference between him and Mr. [Edward] Snowden then? He’s a human rights activist then, not an intelligence chief," Putin said, according to RT, an international television network funded by the Russian government. "At any rate, if this entails some kind of prosecutions against him [Comey], we are ready to grant him asylum in Russia. He should be aware of that."

President Donald Trump tweeted again Thursday that the investigation between members of his administration and Russia was a "witch hunt."