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Duma speaker predicts US citizens will turn into ‘hostages’ of American elite’s schemes

January 30, 15:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The State Duma speaker says the United States is trying to influence Russia’s internal policy

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© AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. The United States is trying to influence Russia’s internal policy, but ordinary US citizens will be held hostage to the American elite’s designs, Speaker of Russia’s State Duma (lower house) Vyacheslav Volodin said on Tuesday commenting on the "Kremlin List" made public by the US Department of Treasury.

"Imposing new sanctions is another attempt by (our) overseas colleagues to meddle in Russia’s domestic political affairs. However, when it comes to sanctions, it is necessary to take into account their influence on US citizens," the State Duma’s official website quotes the speaker as saying. "Ordinary people will become hostages to the ambitions of the American elite," Volodin noted. "Moreover, the measures the United States wants to take will affect many countries." "The new restrictions imposed by the US will substantially impair the interests of European businesses."

"All kinds of sanctions against our country have been designed since 2014. They have resulted neither in changing our country’s political course nor in weakening its sovereignty nor in internal disunity," the speaker went on to say. He was confident that "new sanctions against Russia will lead to even more cohesion of society."

In light of that, Volodin noted the futility of attempts to limit Russia’s sovereignty. "The result of Washington’s sanctions policy was to bolster our potential. Now this is obvious to everyone," he stressed, adding that this is seen by Russia’s partners abroad as well.

"Our country has travelled a colossal path of import substitution in the defense industry, the economy has begun to grow," the speaker recalled. "Russia has stood up for peace and has resolutely repelled international terrorism."

Volodin added that "the sanctions imposed on Russia have long been unrelated to the formal reasons specified in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. In his view, "the restrictions policy is a way for the US leadership to impose its will on other countries to make them abandon their independent policies." "Therefore, the stronger Russia becomes, the more attempts will be made to weaken our country," the speaker stressed.

Kremlin List

The so-called ‘Kremlin List’ was submitted to the US Congress on Monday under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. The document contains 210 names, including 114 Russian officials, businesspeople and CEOs of government-backed companies. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, all his deputies and all 22 Russian ministers have been included in it.

The US Department of Treasury denied that this was a sanctions list. No restrictions have been imposed on the listed individuals. This move creates no obstacles for business contacts with US citizens if these individuals are not subject to sanctions.

According to Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Washington is trying to put Putin at odds with Russia’s business elite through its "Kremlin List," while the decision to publish it is "a direct and obvious attempt to time some actions with the election in order to exert influence on it.".

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