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More US sanctions to be equivalent to severing of relations — Lavrov

The Russian foreign minister stressed that the West was well aware that the introduction of sanctions did not match anybody’s interests

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Washington’s introduction of a new package of sanctions against Moscow would be equivalent to the severing of relations between the United States and Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with several radio stations on Friday.

"As far as the threats of introducing sanctions are concerned, the Americans were told, including at the level of presidential contacts, that this package…, accompanied by the total disconnection from the financial-economic systems controlled by the West, would be tantamount to the severing of relations," Lavrov said about the possibility of more US sanctions against Russia, including personal sanctions against the Russian leadership.

Lavrov remarked that the West was well aware that the introduction of sanctions did not match anybody’s interests.

Earlier, a group of Democrats under the chairman of the Senate’s foreign relations committee, Robert Menendez (Democrat from New Jersey), submitted to the upper house of the US Congress the Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act of 2022. It envisages the introduction of sanctions against the Russian president, prime minister, foreign and defense ministers, chief of the General Staff, and other senior military officials. Also, some restrictions may be applied to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Lately, the Western countries and Kiev have been speculating a great deal about the risks of Russia invading Ukraine. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed such allegations as groundless fanning of tensions. He stressed that Russia posed no threat to anyone. Also, he did not rule out the risk of provocations and warned that attempts at handling the crisis in southeastern Ukraine from the position of strength would entail dire effects.