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Russian lawmaker calls new US sanctions attempt to "save face"

December 23, 2015, 11:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the ex-chief of the Federal Security Service (FSB, former KGB), the current US leadership needs to keep the image of Russia as "monster and aggressor"

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© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. Russian MP and former Federal Security Service (FSB, former KGB) chief Nikolay Kovalev has called Washington’s fresh sanctions against Moscow an attempt to "save face," expressing hope that the new US administration will start building bilateral ties.

"This is a purely political step not leading to any consequences for Russia and in fact politicians and the US leadership understand this very well," said Kovalev, a member of the lower house’s committee on security and fight against corruption.

The current US leadership needs to justify itself before the American people and to keep the image of Russia as "monster and aggressor," the politician said, adding: "This will be in the near future, until the political situation calms down."

"It is most important in politics to save face and they are doing their best speaking about extending sanctions. There is nothing but political chatter behind this," Kovalev stressed.

"Any outgoing politician strains relations with Russia and every new one starts building these ties calmly and the normal political process is underway," he said, expressing hope that this time "the laws of politics will not be violated."

The US Department of the Treasury issued on Tuesday an expanded list of legal entities and individuals in Russia hit by sanctions amid the conflict in Ukraine. Among them are persons and companies that the US believes are linked to entrepreneurs Gennady Timchenko, the Rotenberg brothers, the Kalashnikov small arms maker, the Izhevsk mechanical plant and also the subsidiaries of Sberbank, VTB and the Rostec state corporation. The list also includes officials from the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

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