MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS/. Moscow believes new US sanctions are absurd and will not leave such steps without a response. Washington must comprehend that attempts to pressure Russia are futile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in a statement posted on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
According to the diplomat, it is clear that the expansion of the American sanctions was a "political gift" to visiting Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. "The sanctions have been imposed under the old pretext of developments in Ukraine. The absurdity of this wording is obvious, especially given that Americans are now actually blaming for the Ukrainian crisis, among others, a Moscow bike center and a well-known catering company," Ryabkov emphasized. "The absurdity of such actions can only be compared with a decision to add the Chaika swimming pool in Moscow to the US sanctions lists last year (apparently, the pretext at that time was the swimming pool’s location - next to Krymsky (Crimean) Bridge across the Moskva River)."
Ryabkov noted that officials in Washington cannot fail to understand that such escapades only provoke the "war party" in Kiev, which has long sought to derail the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donbass region."
"It is also worrisome that the step made amid the current political situation in the US continues the trend set by the Obama administration to ruin relations between our countries," he added. Moscow regrets that "the new American leaders are taking their cue from hardcore Russophobes in the US Congress who just do not know what to concoct to do as much harm to us as possible and, most importantly, to nullify all prospects for ironing out the Russian-American relations."
Ryabkov noted that "remarks by officials in Washington about the desire to continue dialogue with us, to seek common ground, address some bilateral and important international issues look totally unconvincing" for Moscow. "Practical actions by the American side substantially devaluate these statements, and we will be sure to take this into consideration," he emphasized.
"The new American move will not remain without a response on our part, including in the form of practical countermeasures," he stated.
"Of course, the United States may continue to harbor illusions that it is possible to put pressure on Russia," Ryabkov said. "The previous numerous waves of US sanctions yielded no results those who initiated them expected. "Any new attempts to force the Russian side to succumb will be futile as well," he underscored.
Russia hopes that "the realization of this simple fact will eventually prompt Washington to break the sanctions spiral and indulge in efforts to get the bilateral dialogue and cooperation back to normal.".