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US sanctions harm transatlantic relations — Russia's NATO envoy

July 31, 2017, 21:05 UTC+3

According to the Russian diplomat, the new package of the US anti-Russian sanctions puts aside legal interests of US allies

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MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. The United States’ anti-Russian sanctions are harming transatlantic relations, Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said on Monday.

"What has been done by the United States, by the Congress in particular [a bill toughening the anti-Russian sanctions - TASS], is not only a blow on international law, on the very fundamentals of the present-day system of international relations, on the norms of the World Trade Organization (WTO), it is a serious blow on the transatlantic ties as well," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

According to the Russian diplomat, the new package of the US anti-Russian sanctions ignores legal interests of US allies. "Naturally, it cannot but widen gaps in this trans-Atlantic alliance," he added.

Last week, the US Senate adopted by an overwhelming majority of 98 against 2 votes a bill toughening the US unilateral sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. Previously, the bill won the majority of votes ($19 against 3) in the House of Representatives. Now, Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act has been referred to President Donald Trump.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that in response to the US fresh round of anti-Russian sanctions it reduced the number of US diplomats in Russia to 455, or as many as there are Russian diplomats serving in the United States, and closes access to the embassy’s compound in Serebryany Bor and storage facilities in Moscow from August 1.

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