MOSCOW, July 9./TASS/. The UK sanctions slapped on Russian nationals within the framework of the Sergei Magnitsky case is meddling in Russia’s internal affairs, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.
"We see as an unfriendly move from the British authorities the decision to impose sanctions against certain officials of our country within the framework of the so-called Magnitsky case, announced by the country’s government on July 6," she said. "The action of the British side cannot be called otherwise than an attempt to meddle in internal affairs of another state and put pressure on the Russian system of justice," Zakharova stressed.
Moscow reserves the right to take appropriate measures in response to British sanctions, the diplomat told the briefing.
"It was undoubtedly a politically motivated decision. It will have a rather negative impact on relations between our countries, while the UK already caused serious damage to them in recent years," she pointed out.
"The principle of reciprocity is one of the key principles as far as relations between countries are concerned. This is why we reserve the right to take appropriate retaliatory measures and urge London to abandon the language of baseless accusations, opting for a civilized dialogue on the problems and concerns that we have," Zakharova added.
On July 6, UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab announced the so-called "Magnitsky Amendment" to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. It was adopted by the House of Commons in May 2018, and was supposed to come into effect immediately after the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. The amendment is named after Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in 2009 in the Matrosskaya Tishina detention facility. London believes that people in the sanctions list were involved in his torture and death.
Among these 25 persons are chief of Russia’s Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin, former Deputy Interior Minister Alexei Anichin, judges, investigators, and interior ministry officials. These persons are barred from entering the United Kingdom, as well as from doing business both in that country and with British go-betweens. Apart from that, their assets in the United Kingdom, if any, will be frozen.