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Diplomat: Russia is ready for 'asymmetric response' to tougher US sanctions

October 24, 2016, 13:25 UTC+3

Moscow has used this long period of sanctions and "for some research," the Russian deputy foreign minister has noted

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© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. Russia has devised a series of asymmetric measures to be taken should the United States tighten up sanctions, Deputy Foreign Minister Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Monday.

The diplomat was speaking at a meeting of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, which discussed the bill on the suspension of the plutonium disposal agreement with the United States.

"The US policy of sanctions towards Russia has continued for a long time. We have used this period to do some research and to reserve a series of measures that might be used asymmetrically, if the regime of sanctions is tightened further," he said. 

The foreign affairs committee of the Federation Council has recommended the upper house to approve the law on suspending the Russian-US deal on the disposal of plutonium earlier on Monday: 

"The document implementation is suspended amid new circumstances in the relations of the sides," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said presenting the document at the committee’s meeting. The diplomat named a range of unfriendly US steps against Russia.

"From the international and legal viewpoint, the array of steps taken by the US led to a drastic change in the circumstances that existed at the moment when the deal was signed," the diplomat explained. "This wording fits the provisions of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and allows suspending the effect of the agreement based on the convention." 

Russia' conditions for resuming plutonium deal with US 

Moscow’s demands for resuming the Russian-US agreement on the disposal of plutonium fit the circumstances, the diplomat stressed. 

"The set of requirements written in the draft law as conditions for Russia’s return to implementing the agreement does not seem to be redundant for us," he said. "I believe that this package is adequate to the circumstances."

The diplomat reminded that Washington has much more demands than Russia. "There is a flow of endless linking," he said, adding: "We used the situation to call a spade a spade."

However, Washington won’t meet Moscow’s demands for the resumption of the agreement, and this means that the document’s suspension won’t be limited in time, he said. "It is evident that the current US administration won’t cancel the above mentioned laws, lift sanctions or reduce the American military presence in Europe for the sake of resuming the effect of the agreement."

On October 19 State Duma passed a law on suspending the Russian-US deal on the disposal of plutonium and the respected protocols. The measure was approved almost unanimously: a total of 445 MPs voted in favor of suspending the agreement, and one abstained.

Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted the draft law on suspending the agreement between Russia and the United States on plutonium disposal to the State Duma on October 3 after signing the relevant decree.

Apart from the direct provisions on suspending the plutonium deal, the draft law lists the conditions for the possible resumption of the accords. Among them is Washington’s cancellation of the Magnitsky Act, all anti-Russian sanctions, compensating for the damage sustained by Moscow and reducing US military infrastructure in NATO countries.

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