MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Moscow will react to new anti-Russian sanctions based on the principle of reciprocity, but it won’t necessarily be a tit-for-tat response, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement published on Tuesday in response to the US imposing new sanctions against Russia.
The diplomat pointed out that using the alleged poisoning of Alexey Navalny is just an excuse to continue blatantly interfering in Russia’s domestic affairs. "We have no plans to put up with this. We will react based on the principle of reciprocity, and it won’t necessarily be a symmetrical response," she stressed, adding that the current stance of the US administration shows "a triumph of the absurd."
"The US administration has made a hostile anti-Russian step by joining the European Union in imposing another package of sanctions to ‘punish Moscow,’" she added. Zakharova noted that the White House got tangled in its own domestic problems and once again "is trying to cultivate an image of an external enemy."
Russia is calling on the US "not to play with fire" when it comes to the decision of the US to slap sanctions on Moscow. "Regardless of the United States’ ‘addiction to sanctions’ we will continue to resolutely and consistently defend national interests and repel any aggression," she said.
The spokeswoman pointed out that all attempts to impose something on Russia through sanctions pressure have always failed. Moscow assumes that US officials do not realize that such a policy is unproductive in the modern geopolitical conditions and do not understand that "the claims of their own exceptionalism are an illusion."
"Instead of being pulled into a new wave of confrontation, the US should instead concern itself with duly adhering to its own obligations, for example, on the destruction of chemical weapons that Russia simply does not have since 2017. <…> As a serial violator of international treaties and agreements in the sphere of arms control and non-proliferation, Washington does not have the moral right to lecture others by definition," the spokeswoman concluded.
On Tuesday, the US Department of the Treasury said that it had sanctioned seven Russian government officials over the situation around Alexey Navalny. The US sanctions target Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov, first deputy head of the presidential executive office Sergei Kiriyenko, Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, chief of the Federal Penitentiary Service Alexander Kalashnikov, head of the presidential domestic policy directorate Andrei Yarin, and Deputy Defense Ministers Alexei Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov.