MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. By drafting personal anti-Russian sanctions, the U.S. is trying to influence the situation in Russia before the presidential election, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Saturday, as he commented on a report, in which the U.S is drafting a list of persons to undergo the sanctions.
"By end of January, as we understand, will appear two reports from [the U.S. Presidential] Administration to the Congress in line with implementation of the August anti-Russian law," he said. "One of the reports, we understand, will have a list of persons, and possibly of corporates, which may undergo the U.S. sanctions; and the other report, we understand, will cover the topic of the current sanctions’ effectiveness."
"We take it all philosophically," the Russian diplomat said. "We can see here another attempt to influence our domestic situation, especially before the upcoming presidential election."
"A separate issue is a mirror, similar or any other response," he said. "This is a decision to be taken by the Russian president in due course."
"Using the U.S. terminology, I can say all options remain at our table," he continued. "We shall be working on most effective forms of response, without damaging our own interests and without affecting future gradual improvement of relations with the U.S."
The high-ranking diplomat stressed improvement of the relations is important both for Russia and for the U.S., though now it is pushed back by Washington’s actions of the kind.
"Under this situation, it would be natural to face forms of work with the wide international community to counteract this American sanctions chaos and outrage," the diplomat said. "We shall work on this from different directions."
"This is a clear abuse of the U.S. positions in the system of international finances and the abuse of dollar’s role as the global reserve currency," the deputy foreign minister said.
"Those, in a situation of facing the U.S. blackmail, the U.S. ultimatums, can see more clearly the task of fencing or protecting themselves from those decisions," he said. "We also, of course, eye this situation under this focus."
The U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier his country would extend the anti-Iranian sanctions, which had been lifted as Tehran complied with the 2015 agreement on the nuclear program, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). A top-level representative of the U.S. Administration said that would be done for the last time. According to him, Washington would be working with his allies on changing the agreement.