MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Moscow will have all reasons to introduce symmetrical measures if London’s new anti-Russian sanctions become effective, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists on Wednesday.
"If this law actually becomes effective, I don’t have any doubts that our parliament will have all grounds, and in general it will be necessary, to approve an equivalent law with regards to those who are attempting to build a career and increase their ranking, the popularity along the Russophobic track," the Russian top diplomat said.
According to the Russian foreign minister, London got used to and enjoys playing the part of an instigator in relations between Russia and the West. "I really hope that other Western countries are more responsible players, that they will see beyond this attempt to provoke another wave of sanctions wars and won’t support [it]. Yet in any case, I will emphasize that both the Russian government and our parliament won’t remain indifferent to the tricks the West tries to pull," he noted.
Lavrov stressed that the amendment to the 2019 sanctions law approved by London "is not related to Ukraine in any way anymore." "It (the document - TASS) establishes the right for the British authorities to impose sanctions on any organizations, individuals and legal entities related to the Russian state, conducting business of high economic importance to the Russian authorities," he noted.
The Russian top diplomat said that, on a whim of the UK authorities, sanctions may be introduced against any individuals or legal entities, simply because they belong to Russia or are Russian citizens and structures, emphasizing that nothing of the kind has ever been seen before.
On February 10, the UK Foreign Office approved amendments to the 2019 sanctions law. They could target a broad swath of the Russian economy ranging from the chemical industry, finance, energy to news media and IT. All individuals that work with the Russian government or government-affiliated entities may face sanctions.
The amendment also states that the UK may sanction companies in Crimea that changed their jurisdiction "contrary to the law of Ukraine" after the region rejoined Russia in 2014. In addition, restrictions may target an individual who "obstructs the work of international organizations in Ukraine" or "conducts business with a separatist group in the Donbas region." The sanctions may be imposed on people "involved in destabilizing Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine.".