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MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Washington’s decision to impose new sanctions in relation to the US Magnitsky Act is another step aimed at further deterioration in Russian-US relations, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"These is a new step aimed at deliberately deteriorating our relations," the presidential spokesman said commenting on the US Department of the Treasury’s decision to blacklist five Russian individuals. He added that at the moment he could not say whether Moscow would take any retaliatory measures in response to these sanctions.
On January 9, the US Department of the Treasury blacklisted five Russian individuals in connection with the Magnitsky Act for human rights abuses. Russian Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin, Stanislav Gordiyevsky, Dmitry Kovtun, Andrei Lugovoi and Gennady Plaksin have been sanctioned. According to Russian media, Plaksin used to be Chairman of the Universal Savings Bank Board while Gordiyevsky used to work for the Investigative Committee.
The UK authorities accuse Lugovoi and Kovtun of killing former Russian security officer Alexander Litvinenko in London.
The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was passed by US Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in December 2012. The act envisages sanctioning Russian officials whom the US believes to be responsible for human rights violations.