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US sanctions not to be lifted even if Russia meets West’s demands — diplomat

July 19, 20:25 updated at: July 19, 23:14 UTC+3

"Senators and Congresspersons will find a million excuses for not lifting anything," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. The United States will not lift immediately sanctions imposed on Russia even if Moscow meets the West’s demands, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on the Russian Rossiya’24 television on Wednesday.

"We are aware that those sanctions, which are imposed now, [will not be lifted], whatever we would do. Even if we say we agree to anything and hoist a white flag, anyway hearings and motions will be in full swing," Ryabkov said. "Senators and Congresspersons will find a million excuses for not lifting anything."

Russia’s policy is based on "a faith in its own rectitude" and belief that it does everything "to protect international law and order and to ensure the supremacy of international law."

"Nobody will ever yield to pressure and do the things the country putting on this pressure would like to be done. It is an illegal step which does not tally with norms of international law," he said.

He also stated that Russia does not agree to any deals to be reached with the United States on return of Russia’s seized diplomatic property since it should be given back to Russia without any prior conditions.

"We do not allow for any conditions in order to have this property given back to us. It is not a bargaining issue. We are far from seeing merely any signs of preparations for certain deals. We see no reason why such categories should be allowed for because we just need to have ours back."

The Trump administration has not swayed far from the Obama administration’s stance in respect to the Russian diplomatic compounds.

"The Trump administration is persistent in this approach to a certain degree," the diplomat said. "So additional efforts are needed to change it, including both diplomatic and other ones. The Americans have been told about it."

In late December 2016, the Obama administration introduced a new round of sanctions against some Russian companies, the Federal Security Service and the Main Intelligence Agency of Russia’s General Staff. Besides that, US authorities expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland. Washington attributed these sanctions to cyber attacks against US political institutions, accusing Russia of being involved. However, Moscow fully rejected all allegations.

The Russian personnel’s access to these compounds was barred. Moscow has not given a tit-for-tat response so far.

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