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MOSCOW, March 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The actions of Western countries that have expanded their black lists of sanctioned Russian citizens cannot be left without a response, and Moscow will react reciprocally, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday.
The diplomat reminded that “Russia’s Foreign Ministry has already said that reciprocal sanctions were introduced against certain lawmakers from the US and Canada, and Russia’s ‘black list’ remains open.” "Some Western countries, following the US’s example, expanded their sanction lists, adding more Russian citizens,” he noted. “Such measures, of course, cannot be left unanswered,” Lukashevich stressed. “The Russian side has taken response measures, that are mirror-like to a great extent,” the diplomat said.
On March 20, the USA imposes further sanctions against Russia in addition to that already introduced earlier this week with regard to Moscow’s policy towards Ukraine.
US President Barack Obama specified that the new measures are imposed against Russian high-ranking officials and other people who did not belong to authorities in Moscow, but who, as Washington believes, support actions of the Russian government against Ukraine.
Spokesperson of the US administration later specified during a telephone briefing for journalists that the new list included 20 Russian officials.
On March 21, the European Union has expanded the “blacklist” of Russian officials from 21 to 23 names whose travel to the EU countries is banned and bank accounts of which, if they are found in European banks, are to be frozen. No decisions on the introduction of economic sanctions were made, but the European Commission has been instructed to develop a plan of action “to reduce European Union’s energy dependence on Russia.”
In addition, EU countries have agreed to suspend the preparation for bilateral summits with Russia and cancelled a Russia-EU summit that was scheduled for June.