MOSCOW, March 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Deputy Speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Sergei Zheleznyak said Thursday he was not surprised upon finding his name on the list of Russian officials, whom the U.S. Administration subjected to sanctions by forbidding the issuance of travel visas to them and subjecting their bank accounts to freezing, should any such accounts be tracked down in the U.S.
He said he even considered it as special honor of some kind. “I was actually surprised that email traffic between the EU and the U.S. was so slow that it took them several days to synchronize the lists,” Zheleznyak said. “But no one of the individuals placed on those lists were taken by surprise in any way.”
He said the EU had also included him in the sanctions list. “It’s an honor for me to get blacklisted for my struggle with neo-Nazism and for upholding the right of people to speak their native tongue and to get education in it,” Zheleznyak said.
He stressed the bizarre character of an approach under which sanctions are not applied to supporters of Nazism or radical nationalism in Ukraine, but are spearheaded at those who are trying to warn society about the risks of underestimation of the phenomena, which brought about the world’s largest disaster in the mid-20th century and resulted in dozens of millions of deaths.
Zheleznyak said his colleagues, who defended Russia’s right to espousing its own views and to helping the fellow-countrymen in Crimea and in Ukraine against mass persecutions, found it a big honor to be blacklisted in connection with this noble activity.
“As the EU and the U.S. are engaging in personalities, it only means that they don’t have a systemic understanding of Russia’s position or of the situation taking shape in Ukraine and in Crimea,” he said.
”Proceeding from the rules of diplomacy, Russia will have to reciprocate, although it understands clearly that sanctions as such are the most inefficacious and meaningless method of contacting the opponents, as they don’t bring about any solutions but only brush opportunities aside,” Zheleznyak said.
Along with this, he expressed the hope that the West would understand the erroneous character of its actions over time and would see that the systemic crisis in Ukraine could be resolves only through a fruitful dialogue with Russia.
The same goes for a big number of local crises that budded under direct impact of the West, Zheleznyak said.