MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Moscow will expand its blacklists of US officials, who are banned from entering the country, in the wake of Washington’s new sanctions against two staff members of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS on Wednesday.
"We will certainly and respectively expand our blacklists of US citizens, who are denied entry. We are saying openly about this," the senior diplomat said.
"As soon as the US abandons its vicious policy of expanding such lists, we will do the same, acting tit-for-tat based on the principles of reciprocity," Ryabkov said.
According to Ryabkov, these sanctions against Russians are part and parcel of policy, which "is fully discrediting itself and is doomed to failure." "It implies that we will knuckle under to sanctions pressure, but this will never be so," he stressed.
The senior diplomat also recalled that in late August there were speculations in the media that some US Senators had not received Russian visas. "They try to depict things so as if they had been denied visas," he recalled. "But no one denied visas to them, they had been included in Russia’s blacklists."
"In any case, in all these situations the US is responsible and let’s say the ball is in the US court," Ryabkov stressed.
The United States imposed sanctions on two Russian investigators in Siberia’s Surgut on Tuesday over a case involving members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization (recognized as extremist and outlawed in Russia). Washington accused the investigators of torturing them and violating their rights. Earlier, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected a claim from this organization’s follower. An independent medical examination found no signs of alleged torture on him.