NYSE Feb 28 2012
Aerial view of the New York Stock Exchange Reuters

Russia is playing the money card.

Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Tuesday that the country could sell all the U.S. government bonds it owns should the country impose sanctions on Russia.

"The Americans are threatening Russia with sanctions and pulling the EU into a trade and economic war with Russia,” Glazyev said. “Most of the sanctions against Russia will bring harm to the United States itself, because as far as trade relations with the United States go, we don’t depend on them in any way,” Glazyev said, adding that the country is a creditor to the United States.

"We hold a decent amount of treasury bonds – more than $200 billion – and if the United States dares to freeze accounts of Russian businesses and citizens, we can no longer view America as a reliable partner,” he said. “We will encourage everybody to dump U.S. Treasury bonds, get rid of dollars as an unreliable currency and leave the U.S. market," he said.

According to the Huffington Post, Russia was the seventh-largest U.S. creditor at the end of 2012. According to the report, Russian owned $162.9 billion, or 1.4 percent of the total U.S. debt.

As the website reports, "Where does Russia get all of its buying power? The answer is oil. Russia is the world's largest oil producer, and has used the commodities markets -- and investment in U.S. Treasury bonds -- to build impressive cash reserves in foreign securities [source: Iosebashvili]. "