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Russia to take reciprocal measures in response to new US sanctions

May 17, 5:14 UTC+3

The US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control earlier added Chechnya's Terek Special Rapid Response Team and five Russian nationals to the sanctions list

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The Russian Embassy in Washington D.C.

The Russian Embassy in Washington D.C.

© Anatoly Bochinin/TASS

WASHINGTON, May 17. /TASS/. Russia will take reciprocal measures in response to new US sanctions introduced on the basis of the Magnitsky Act, the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. said in a statement released on Thursday.

"Washington's new anti-Russian steps are associated with the so-called Magnitsky Act," the embassy said. "They represent an attempt to force unilateral measures of coercion which go against international law and cannot be considered as a civilized way of communication between countries," the embassy added noting that "reciprocal measures will follow."

"When we responded reciprocally before, we always stressed that this is not our choice. We strive for cooperation with the United States in the long term. We are ready for this and think that this is a right choice," the embassy said.

"US sanctions against the Terek Special Rapid Response Team from Chechnya reflect either the intention to complicate international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, or the fear of the team's potential to operate in the Arctic. Moreover, such unconstructive decisions clearly go against the positive atmosphere of the recent Russian-US talks in Sochi," the embassy concluded.

The US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) earlier added Chechnya's Terek Special Rapid Response Team and five Russian nationals, including Terek's commander Abuzayed Vismuradov, to the sanctions list on the basis of the Magnitsky Act.

The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was passed by the US Congress and signed by then-President Barack Obama in December 2012. The law particularly specified sanctions against a number of Russian officials, including law enforcement officers, believed by Washington to have played a role in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor at the Hermitage Capital Management company, who died in a Moscow detention center in November 2009.

The act envisages sanctioning Russian officials whom the US considers to be responsible for human rights violations. It particularly allows the US government to freeze assets and ban visas for officials.

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