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Kremlin chief of staff says sanctions haven’t changed his life or work

April 12, 2014, 20:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

He thanked his namesake wrongly affected by the sanctions for his resolve

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MOSCOW, April 12, /ITAR-TASS/. Presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said the sanctions imposed against him had not affected his life or work.

“These sanctions have no influence on my work and life,” Ivanov told reporters on Saturday, April 12, replying to a question from his namesake from St. Petersburg who had been mixed up with him and denied a parcel from the United States.

Ivanov recalled that he had worked for 25 years in the intelligence service in the Soviet Union and then in Russia. “By the end of my service in 1998 I could not enter most of the Western countries. So this is nothing new for me. I am used to this,” he said.

He thanked his namesake wrongly affected by the sanctions for his resolve. Both Ivanovs met at the SCKA sport complex in Moscow where the Kremlin official was talking to members of mass media.

“I am very sorry that my namesake got affected by the sanctions. As we know, there are hundreds of thousands of Sergei Ivanovs in our country or maybe even more,” he said. “It’s regrettable that the stupidity of the American postal service affected my namesake, colleague and fellow citizen. We know that stupidity can’t be cured,” Ivanov said.

He also gifted a leopard-coloured basketball to the man. “There is a connection between the leopard and basketball. The leopard, just like a basketball player, is adroit, flexible and fast. This is for you to keep,” Ivanov said to this namesake. “Play basketball. This is the best game with the ball.”

In a letter to his namesake written earlier this month, Ivanov said, “Dear namesake and fellow citizen! I was surprised to find out that the sanctions imposed by the U.S. administration, including against me, have created certain inconveniencies for you. Your parcel was delayed and the U.S. Post showed that it could place ignorance and corporate zeal above elementary logic. We may face such farce again as there are tens of thousands of Sergei Ivanovs in the country. But I am sure that we will overcome these inconveniencies together. Besides, your case gave us a good example of how even the worst American sanctions can be bypassed,” the Kremlin official wrote in his letter, the Rossiya 1 television channel said on Saturday, April 5.

A Metro newspaper employee in St. Petersburg by the name of Sergei Ivanov had ordered a pair of sneakers in an American online shop, but his order was cancelled. The shop provided him with a notice saying that his last name, name and surname had been included in the list of persons who could not be sent any mail in the United States. He was erroneously taken for his namesake Sergei Ivanov from the Kremlin administration. To solve the problem, the order was made again in a new name and eventually delivered to Russia.

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