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MOSCOW, July 19 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will respond to new U.S. sanctions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Saturday, July 19, and warned that the U.S. economic restrictions would inevitably boomerang on American business.
“We have said many times that it’s useless to talk to us in the language of sanctions. Such steps will have consequences,” he said, adding that “when it comes to visa bans, a response is usually reciprocal”.
“Like in the United States, our ‘stop list’ remains open. Last year we published the ‘Guantanamo list’ of 18 persons to match the number of Russians in the ‘Magnitsky list’. This time we acted reciprocally and denied entry to 12 Americans,” the diplomat said.
The new list is divided into two parts. One part of it includes persons related to legalizing and using torture against inmates of the Guantanamo prison: Navy Rear Admiral Richard Butler, commander of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, who controls the prison, and District of Columbia Senior Judge Gladys Kessler.
Butler authorised forcible measures to stop inmates’ hunger strike and Kessler upheld this decision as lawful, the Foreign Ministry said.
The second part of the list includes ten American servicemen who “humiliated inmates in the Abu Ghraib special prison in Iraq or covered up for offences”: Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, commander of the U.S. troops in Iraq in 2003-2004, who controlled the prison; and Janis Karpinski, former superintendant of the prison. She covered up for the acts of violence committed against prisoners and, after the investigation, was demoted from brigadier general to colonel.
The group also includes eight retired members of the U.S. military who participated in the humiliating treatment of prison inmates.
In response to a similar move taken by Washington against State Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament) Deputy Adam Delimkhanov, Moscow has also banned entry for U.S. Congressman James Moran.
Lukashevich said Moran had repeatedly been accused of financial fraud but each time escaped penalties.
Commenting on economic restrictions, Lukashevich said they “will inevitably boomerang on American business that is oriented to the Russian market”.