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Russian lawmakers differ on reaction to Kiev’s sanctions

September 17, 2015, 21:12 UTC+3

The speaker of Russian parliament’s upper house says Moscow shouldn't retaliate while the head of the Russian Federation Council Committee for International Affairs disagrees

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Valentina Matviyenko and Konstantin Kosachev

Valentina Matviyenko and Konstantin Kosachev

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, September 17 /TASS/. Sanctions are not an instrument which Russia uses in politics but Moscow should retaliate for Ukraine’s extension of its sanctions list against Russia, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Federation Council Committee for International Affairs, said in an interview aired by the Rossiya 24 TV news channel.

"Yes, the answer should certainly follow. But is does not mean that it should copy the absolutely illogical and stupid actions of the Ukrainian side…First and foremost, sanctions are not our instrument in principle. I cannot remember a single time in Russia’s most recent history when our country was the first to initiate such sanctions against another country. But we certainly need to respond to such measures," Kosachev told Rossiya 24.

However, Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the Russian Federation Council (parliament’s upper house), disagreed with her fellow-lawmaker.

Russia should not retaliate for Ukraine’s new sanctions, Matviyenko said on Thursday.

She described Ukraine’s decision to extend its sanctions list against Russia as an attempt to suit the West.

"There is an impression that it (the sanctions list) was prepared without any logic or argumentation," Matviyenko told journalists during the Second Forum of Regions of Russia and Belarus.

Matviyenko said that the list included companies, which stopped functioning in December last year.

"As for personal sanctions imposed on Russian and foreign nationals, she noted that Kiev had made a new attempt to suit the West and be in the waterway of the United States and other Western countries," the Russian lawmaker stressed.

"Very unprofessional people prepared that list," she added.

The Federation Council speaker called the Ukrainian authorities’ decision to be an ill-considered, unreasonable and populist step, which she found hard to comment seriously.

"We are not going to respond to such attacks. They are not serious, they are lightweight and they are doing harm to Ukraine. We are not going to stoop to such steps," Matviyenko said noting that it was her personal point of view.

She added that Russia was still seeking peace and stability in Ukraine and hoped for a peaceful settlement in the country’s southeast regions.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed a decree on extending the list of sanctions against Russia on September 16. The sanctions imposed on 388 individuals and 105 legal entities imply a ban on entering Ukraine; the freezing of all assets and suspension of economic and financial liabilities (a ban on issuing credits; loans; financial aid and guarantees as well as a ban on lending credits via the purchase of securities).

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