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Moscow works on sound measures in response to US sanctions — Russian diplomat

February 27, 2015, 20:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW
This is absolutely not the situation demanding an ‘eye for an eye’ approach, although reciprocity is necessary from time to time, Sergey Ryabkov, a deputy Russian foreign minister believes
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© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Moscow is currently working on countermeasures in response to US sanctions, imposed earlier against Russia, but they may not be made public, Sergey Ryabkov, a deputy Russian foreign minister, said on Friday.

In an interview with Russia’s three leading television channels on Friday, Ryabkov said that the implementation of the ‘Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014,’ recently passed by the US lawmakers, would be more painful for Russia than the Jackson-Vanick amendment.

"The Ukraine Freedom Support Act really has the potential of a delayed-action mine," Ryabkov said. "I believe that its authors are propagandists, who lost their ability to match the long-term perspectives of the United States with the conjuncture for the benefit of which they work for."

"The law was drafted at the peak of the anti-Russian hysteria," he said. "We [Russia] see that in fact it can be empowered to any sort of a situation. In other words, depending on sudden whims of those making decisions in Washington a certain provision of the act may be out in action. Our relations would be damaged further, but eventually it was the American choice."

The deputy foreign minister said that Russia had been also drafting countermeasures in response to US sanctions, but was not making public statements about it.

"The work [on countermeasures] is underway but it would be wrong announcing them at the moment, as well as announcing some other peculiar things, because it would contradict our policy toward the responsible stance in regard to intergovernmental norms," Ryabkov said.

"This is absolutely not the situation demanding an ‘eye for an eye’ approach, although reciprocity is necessary from time to time," he said. "But we are reserving all options as there were in and will be in use sound countermeasures."

Relations with the US

Washington’s recent accusation against Moscow are ungrounded and provide for pessimistic nature of the US-Russia bilateral agenda, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday.

"Our bilateral agenda with the United States is overwhelmed with the negative atmosphere as a result of Washington’s destructive stance in bilateral relations," Ryabkov said in an interview with Russia’s three leading television channels.

The high-ranking diplomat said all issues of the US-Russia bilateral ties were important, but only several of them remained in the field of real cooperation between the countries, while problems were accumulating.

"Washington’s rhetoric in regard to us adds no positive sentiments to our relations, however we are not making drama out of it," Ryabkov said adding that all US accusations in regard to Moscow were not substantiated with any kind of proof.

Relations between Russian and the United States have been strained by the developments in Ukraine as Washington accused Russia of its direct involvement in the armed conflict in the neighboring ex-Soviet republic and slapped Moscow with sanctions. The European Union joined Washington’s policy in regard to Russia and imposed their own sanctions.

Sanctions against Russian

The West started imposing sanctions on Russia since March 2014 over the events in Ukraine. First, an early EU summit stalled the talks on a visa-free regime and a new base agreement on Russia-EU cooperation. Further on, the sanctions were grouped into three categories — personal, corporate and sectoral.

By the beginning of September, some 420 Russian individuals and 143 companies had been put on the sanction lists of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland and Norway.

The sectoral sanctions imposed for a term of one year include an embargo on the supply of arms to Russia and the importation of Russian weapons and related materials, a ban on the delivery of dual-purpose products and technologies to Russia, as well as innovative technologies for Russia’s oil extracting industry.

In mid-September, the European Union published new sanctions against Russia in its official journal.

Russia fully banned from August 7, 2014 the imports of meat, fish, cheeses, milk, vegetables and fruits from western countries that had imposed economic sanctions against Russian citizens and companies.

The countries that have slapped sanctions against Russia include the European Union member states, Norway, the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan.

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