The United States announced on Wednesday a new set of economic sanctions against Russia citing Moscow’s stance in regard to the developments in neighboring Ukraine. The US sanctions move was later echoed by the European Union with a separate set of sanctions against Russia.
“An outrageous and ungrounded strive to put the blame on Russia for the Civil War in the neighboring country, which was caused as a result of the extreme domestic conflict and already claimed numerous lives, clearly speaks for the failure of strategy pursued by the US and their clients in Kiev to suppress mass discontent of people with force,” the ministry said.
“Moreover, cynically trying to dodge responsibility and rudely misinterpreting the facts, it (the White House) again took up to brandishing its favorite weapon, which is a sanctions stick,” the statement said.
Moscow repeatedly stated that it was useless to resort to the language of sanctions with Russia no matter what their scale could be and such approach would lead to nothing good, according to the statement.
“This also goes to encroachment on assets of Russian companies,” the statement said. “Those assured of their unique exclusiveness and in the right to dictate their will to the rest of the world will eventually end up bitterly disappointed.”
If Washington intends to ruin the Russian-American relations than it would a matter of weigh on its own conscience. We have always been and will always be open for constructive cooperation with all countries, including with the United States, basing on the principles equality, noninterference in domestic affairs and mutual respect of regional interests Russian Forieng Ministry The ministry said it was a well-known fact that sanctions are a “double-edged tool.”
“Any forms of restrictions on the economic and financial cooperation will result in serious losses for the US business circles, which would have to pay for the White House bills,” the statement said. “Such attitude on behalf of Barack Obama’s administration will definitely affect our cooperation capabilities in many other spheres.”
“If Washington intends to ruin the Russian-American relations than it would a matter of weigh on its own conscience. We have always been and will always be open for constructive cooperation with all countries, including with the United States, basing on the principles equality, noninterference in domestic affairs and mutual respect of regional interests,” the statement said.
“We are not going to tolerate blackmail and reserve the right for retaliatory measures,” the ministry concluded.
The new US sanctions apply to Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Deputy Speaker Sergey Neverov, Minister for Crimean Affairs Oleg Savelyev, Russian presidential aide Igor Shchegolev, Federal Security Service (FSB) Col.-Gen. Sergey Beseda, and a leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine, Alexander Borodai.
The organizations targeted by the punitive measures include the DPR and the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine, Russian state corporation Vnesheconombank, Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom’s banking arm Gazprombank and state-owned oil company Rosneft.The organizations list also includes Federal State Unitary Enterprise State Research And Production Enterprise Bazalt, Feodosia Oil Products Supply Company (in Crimea, a former Ukrainian region that reunified with Russia in mid-March), Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern KRET and Concern Sozvezdie.
Other companies on the list are Military-Industrial Corporation NPO Mashinostroyenia (scientific and production machine building association), Defense Concern Almaz-Antey, weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov Concern, KBP Instrument Design Bureau, Research and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod and Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek.
According to the US Treasury Department, the new US sanctions deprive Vnesheconombank, Gazprombank, Rosneft and Novatek of access to new long-term financing, for over 90 days (an opportunity to obtain relevant banking loans in the United States), but do not ban American partners from maintaining business relations with them and carrying out other financial transactions.
Meanwhile, the sanctions against Russian defense industry enterprises envision that all contacts with them on the part of the United States will be stopped and their assets in American banks, if any, will be frozen.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s merger with Russia.
Russia repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in protests in the Southeast of Ukraine, which started after Crimea refused to recognize the authorities propelled to power during a coup in Ukraine in February.
Less than a month after Crimea’s merger with Russia, people in Ukraine’s southeastern Lugansk and Donetsk regions first demanded the country’s federalization and then held referendums on independence, but eventually ended up with military suppression of their will from the new authorities in Kiev.
Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are currently involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces continue conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.
During the military operation, conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, 478 civilians have been killed and 1,392 wounded in it. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s war-torn Southeast.